India the tiger was turned in to authorities on Saturday and will soon be moved to an animal sanctuary

By Eric Todisco
May 16, 2021 11:00 AM
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Missing tiger in Houston is recovered
Credit: Houston Police/Twitter

India the tiger is no longer on the loose.

On Saturday, the Houston Police Department (HPD) announced that the nine-month-old Bengal tiger that was seen roaming around a Houston neighborhood since last week had been turned in to authorities.

"We are happy to report that the missing tiger seen in a Houston neighborhood last week has been found and appears to be unharmed" the police tweeted.

HPD Commander Ron Borza said in a news briefing Saturday evening that Gia Cuevas, who owns the tiger with husband Victor Hugo Cuevas, turned the big cat in. "The tiger was passed around a little bit, but ultimately Gia knew where the tiger was at all times," said Borza. "If it wasn't with her, she knew where it was at."

It is illegal to own a tiger in Houston, according to Borza, but Gia is not currently facing charges.

Victor, meanwhile, was charged last week with felony evading arrest after he wrangled the tiger back into his home when the big cat was first spotted outside last Sunday night. One witness told authorities they saw a man wrangle the tiger back into the home before loading the animal into a white Jeep Cherokee and fleeing the scene, a police spokesperson told PEOPLE Monday.

An attorney for Cuevas, Michael Elliott, previously claimed that Cuevas does not own the tiger but might know whose pet it is and that Cuevas did not evade police, according to NBC News.

"In no way, shape or form should you have an animal like that in your household," said Borza. "That animal is only nine months old and already weighs 175 lbs. Full grown, that animal can get to 600 lbs. It still had its claws and it could do a lot of damage if it wanted to."

Borza went on to say at Saturday's news briefing that the tiger will be moved to a sanctuary, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, "where hopefully he'll live the rest of his life in a very safe environment."

Police have yet to learn how Gia and Victor came into possession of India or where the tiger has been all week, Borza said. The investigation is ongoing.