PUFF, PUFF, PURR?: Pot smokers find caged tiger in abandoned house

Frederick Owens
February 12, 2019

A couple thought they might be hallucinating after sneaking into a vacant Texas home to smoke weed - and finding a tiger inside.

"The tiger was very thirsty, so we gave him some water", said Jarrad Mears with Houston animal shelter BARC. They were trying to get into this house to smoke marijuana.

The wild animal was first discovered by two people who entered the almost vacant house looking for a place to smoke marijuana, KHOU-TV reported officials as saying. Packages of meat were discovered with the animal.

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Officers tranquillised the female tiger and transported it to the city's animal shelter, where she's staying overnight in a cage inside a horse trailer under round-the-clock surveillance, according to Cottingham. They called Houston police, who were able to secure a warrant and remove the tiger. Officials said the tiger will be taken to another facility, where it will stay permanently, Tuesday.

It is now being transferred to a sanctuary elsewhere in Texas - although the exact location has not been publicly disclosed. "So it was important that we get it out of that situation", Lara Cottingham, with the city of Houston, said. "More often than not it gets big, it gets expensive, it gets risky, and they end up turning the animal in or abandoning it".

News of the tiger has created quite a buzz on social media, and reactions have even been curated into their own Twitter Moment titled "Overweight tiger found in abandoned U.S. home". They are endangered - the WWF estimates there are fewer than 4,000 left in the wild.

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