Houston police are searching for a tiger after its apparent owner, Victor Hugo Cuevas, 26, was taken into custody Monday night.
Several bystanders filmed Cuevas grabbing the Bengal tiger on Monday after it got loose and bringing it into his house. He later put the animal in the back of his Jeep and fled.
He was later apprehended, but the tiger was not, sparking a statewide hunt for the big cat.
Joining the effort is Carole Baskin, who is offering a sizable reward to whomever brings the tiger to safety.
Speaking with TMZ, the Tiger King star said she and Big Cat Rescue, which is based in Tampa, will award the sum “to the person responsible for the immediate, safe hand over of India the Tiger to a sanctuary that is accredited by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries.”
Baskin expressed concern for the exotic creature because “the owners of the tiger have shown a serious lack of responsibility so far.”
She laid out the stipulations for receiving the $5,000 reward, saying the individual who turns the tiger in must work with police and the actions they take must be “sufficient to convict both buyer and seller involved in the transfers of the tiger.”
Baskin also told the outlet that the tiger will not come to her rescue when it’s returned, but will be handed over to another experienced center for life long care.
As previously reported, Houston Police Commander Ron Borza said Cuevas was arrested in July 2020 and charged with murder stemming from a 2017 fatal shooting outside a sushi restaurant in Fort Bend County, Texas. He was free on $250,000 bail.
Borza said Cuevas also has two monkeys, which are legal to possess in Houston, but their whereabouts — like the tiger’s — are unclear.
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