Houston animal control officials would like to know who owns a "perfectly delightful" tiger that turned up unexpectedly in a little used house in a residential part of the city.
The tiger was found in a "rinky-dink" cage in the garage, which was not locked, police said.
Packages of meat were discovered with the animal. "He could have gone on a rampage in the city ... anything could have happened!" said Sgt. Jason Alderete of the Houston Police Major Offender Animal Cruelty Unit.
The couple discovered a tiger that had been left in a shoddily secured cage inside of a disused house in Southeast Houston and reported it to the police.
The big cat was friendly but tranquilized as authorities moved her from the home to BARC Animal Shelter. It was secured with a nylon strap and a screwdriver for the top of the cage.
Cottingham said the tiger, which she's calling Danielle, seemed fairly healthy, albeit a bit thirsty.
No one was home when the tiger was found. "Very, very rarely do we take in a tiger".
"There's an incredible network all across the United States and here in Houston and here in Texas".
Houston police are conducting an investigation into who may own the tiger.
"The Houston Zoo is aware of the tiger found in southeast Houston today, February 11; however, the Houston Zoo is not involved in this case, and is not receiving the tiger, as incorrectly reported". It has two Malayan tigers and "does not have capacity to receive additional tigers", a statement read.
"Fewer than 3,500 tigers of all tiger subspecies remain in the wild today, according to the Tiger Conservation Campaign".