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Texas man finds 1,000lb tiger inside garage after smoking weed

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 12/02/2019 Lizzie Edmonds

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(Video by Sky News)

A dangerous wild animal making itself comfortable in an urban house might sound like a drug-induced hallucination.

But it was no illusion for a marijuana smoker in Houston, Texas, when he discovered a real tiger in an abandoned property.

The man, whose name has not been released, at first thought he was seeing things when he spotted the creature in the garage of the house.

But he called police who, after establishing he was of clear mind, went to the property yesterday and found the female tiger in a cage secured with a screwdriver and a nylon strap. The animal, reportedly weighing around 1,000lb, was “well-fed” but “thirsty”. She was tranquilised and has now been moved to a specialist shelter.

a close up of a fence © Provided by Local News RSS EN-GB Video footage posted on Twitter shows the sleeping animal being lifted in the cage on to the back of a trailer.Police Sergeant Jason Alderete told local media that the terrified caller had “assured us it was not the effect of the drugs that made him believe he was seeing a tiger”, adding: “At first we thought it was a prank or that he was high.”

Lara Cottingham, a spokeswoman for Houston’s animal control agency, said of the tiger: “She’s pretty large, so she doesn’t look underfed. She was thirsty.

“She didn’t look particularly threatening but they did tranquilise her right before they transported her. It is a beautiful animal and we want it to live a happy, healthy life. Living in a cage is not optimal circumstances for anyone involved.” Resident Arturo Jimenez said: “It’s kinda scary. In Houston, that is not normal.”

A report issued last year said 7,000 big cats live in captivity in the US, outnumbering the number of wild tigers worldwide. Most are kept in unregulated conditions, including private breeding facilities, back yards and even urban apartments.

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