Tiger found, taken from southeast Houston home

Not a hallucination in Texas

An anonymous tipster discovered the 1,000-pound tiger illegally held in a residential home, according to Houston's KTRK-TV. "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.

NBC affiliate KPRC report that police say the man, who was not identified, initially believed he was hallucinating when he found the female tiger in a "rinky-dink" cage.

"A pretty small cage inside basically a garage in a house that didn't look like it was in the best shape".

The tiger was tranquilised and transported to the city's BARC animal shelter, Lara Cottingham, chief of staff of Houston's Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department, told USA Today.

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It was not immediately clear how long the tiger had been living at the depalitated residence. "Very, very rarely do we take in a tiger".

Officers tranquilized the large cat, pulled it out using a wrecker and transferred it to an animal shelter. "It's just finding the right combination and then transporting", Cottingham said.

In a statement, the Houston Zoo said it will not be able to take the tiger. But several packages of meat were found with the animal, KTRK reported.

While it's legal to own a tiger in Texas if the owner has a wild game permit, it's not permitted in Houston. "Malayan tigers surviving on the Malay Peninsula are critically endangered with an estimated population of 300 remaining in the wild".

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