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An American man probably thought he was in for a relaxing time when he snuck into a house to smoke marijuana, but the situation soon turned stressful when he stumbled upon a 1,000lb tiger in the garage.
The unnamed man believed the house in Houston, Texas was empty – which it technically was, if he expected the residents to have been human. You can’t really blame him for being mistaken in this case.
He spotted the fully grown feline and at first thought he was hallucinating, but called the authorities once he determined his eyes were actually telling the truth.
According to USA Today, Sgt Jason Alderete explained:
We questioned them as to whether they were under the effects of the drugs or (if) they actually saw a tiger. At first we thought it was a prank or that they were high.
Lara Cottingham, chief of staff of Houston’s Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department, explained animal control officers went to investigate the scene after receiving the call from the shocked man, who remained anonymous on the phone, USA Today report.
The officers reportedly heard something inside the house and got a police warrant to investigate. They found the tiger trapped in a small cage, which was secured with a screwdriver and a nylon strap rather than being locked.
The female animal was reportedly well fed, but thirsty. Authorities tranquillised the poor animal and she’s since been moved to BARC Houston, a city organisation dedicated to humane animal care.
Speaking about the strange situation, Lara explained:
We deal with, for the most part, puppies and kittens. Very, very rarely do we take in a tiger. This is not the first tiger that has been picked up by BARC. People think that it is fun or that it is cool to have an exotic pet. More often than not it gets big, it gets expensive, it gets dangerous, and they end up turning the animal in or abandoning it.
According to the Evening Standard, she added:
She’s pretty large, so she doesn’t look underfed. She was thirsty. She didn’t look particularly threatening but they did tranquillise 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.
Houston police are investigating who may have owned the animal.