In a very strange story coming out of Houston, Texas, a man’s attempt to discreetly smoke some weed turned into an unexpected discovery of a neglected tiger. The event raises all sorts of questions. But so far, there do not seem to be very many answers.
Are You Seeing a Real Tiger or Are You Just Really Stoned?
The whole bizarre thing began when an unidentified man decided to smoke weed in an abandoned home located in southeast Houston.
Apparently he was looking for a private place to toke. And, at least initially, he thought he’d found an ideal location. But all that changed once he actually got inside the building.
That’s when he discovered that the home wasn’t abandoned. Instead, he found a tiger in the building.
According to local news sources, the man quickly reported the tiger to the Houston Police Department. It appears that authorities did not initially believe the report.
“We questioned them as to whether they were under the effects of the drugs or they actually saw a tiger,” HPD’s Major Offenders, Livestock Animal Cruelty Unit Sergeant Jason Alderete told the media. “They saw a tiger in this building, this vacant house that’s obviously been abandoned for some time.”
After confirming that there was indeed a tiger in the home, Houston PD sent its Major Offenders, Livestock Animal Cruelty Unit to investigate.
Officials reported that the tiger was being kept in very poor conditions. Specifically, it was being kept in a cage that was too small for an animal that size. Fortunately for the tiger, officials also said there were a few packages of meat left behind, presumably for the tiger to eat.
Despite the tiger’s poor condition, officials tranquilized it to be sure nobody got hurt. They then removed the tiger from the old building and safely transported it to Houston’s BARC animal shelter.
Now, officials at BARC are working to relocate the tiger to a facility that is better equipped to house and care for exotic animals.
It’s unclear who was keeping the tiger in the old home. Investigations are ongoing.
Illegal Market for Large and Exotic Animals
Not surprisingly, it is illegal to keep pets like this tiger. Yet despite this, experts at BARC said there is an underground market for large exotic animals.
Specifically, they said that illegal animals are sometimes smuggled into the United States from Mexico and other countries. BARC workers said that along with being illegal, it is often difficult and dangerous to care for large animals like this.
“They are basically a loaded gun pointed at anyone that encounters them. They can be extremely dangerous,” said BARC spokesperson Laura Cottingham.
Remarkably, this isn’t the first time that somebody’s attempts to consume cannabis led to the discovery of a large and exotic animal. In 2016, cops in Manitowic County, Wisconsin made a surprise discovery. They thought they were simply busting a group of teens for weed. But they ended up discovering a crocodile being kept in the basement.