HOUSTON — Houston police are still looking for India, a tiger that was seen roaming a west Houston neighborhood last weekend.
An animal sanctuary in East Texas said it talked to investigators about hosting the animal once it's found. Another sanctuary, one that took in the last known captive tiger in Houston, said it has room for one more, as well.
Carole Baskin, the founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue and "Tiger King" star, is offering a reward to anyone who turns the tiger over to an accredited sanctuary.
The lawyer for Victor Hugo Cuevas, the man who is at the center of the investigation, said the tiger doesn't belong to Cuevas. He also said he doesn't know where the tiger is.
Cuevas was seen on video taking India into a house in west Houston on Sunday. Police said they were headed to the home to question Cuevas about the tiger, but they said he left with India before they got there. That’s why he was charged with evading arrest.
Video shot by a neighbor showed an off-duty Waller County deputy confront Cuevas in the front yard of a home on Ivy Wall Drive, near the intersection of Highway 6 and Memorial Drive. He ordered Cuevas to take India back inside and called 911.
Cuevas, 26, was released from jail after posting bond on Wednesday. He had been there since he was taken into custody on the evading arrest charge on Monday. There will be a hearing Friday morning where prosecutors said they will revoke Cuevas' bond on a 2017 murder charge. Fort Bend County investigators said he gunned down a man that July in front of a Buffalo Wild Wings on Grand Parkway in Richmond.
“We have plenty of places we can take that tiger and keep it safe and give it a home for the rest of its life," HPD Commander Ron Borza said.
Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch Senior Director Noelle Almrud said she’s had brief conversations with police about taking India after the tiger is found.
“I’ve just let them know that we do have space available if the need should arise," Almrud said.
Four tigers live there now, including Loki, the tiger rescued from a vacant southeast Houston home two years ago.
“Loki’s doing great. He has developed into a confident, playful tiger,” Almrud said.
Almrud said India would probably try to hide to feel protected if he’s still out on the streets, but she doubts that’s the case.
“I’m imagining that he’s still indoors. Hopefully, they are feeding him a proper diet. But ideally, to be healthy and happy, a tiger needs a lot of space to roam. They should not be kept indoors 24/7,” Almrud said.
If you see India, get to a safe place and call 911 immediately.
Big Cat Rescue statement:
Carole Baskin, founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue is offering a $5,000 reward to the person responsible for the immediate, safe hand over of India the Tiger to a sanctuary that is accredited by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries provided that person's efforts with law enforcement is sufficient to convict both buyer and seller involved in the transfers of the tiger."