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Tiger King‘s Carole Baskin has put forward a $5,000 reward to find the tiger on the loose in Texas.
Earlier this week, a Bengal tiger named India was filmed roaming a suburban neighbourhood in Houston. After a brief encounter with an armed off-duty deputy, Victor Hugo Cuevas, 26, wrangled the tiger into his SUV and drove away.
While he’s since been apprehended by the authorities, the tiger is nowhere to be found. Now, with local residents concerned about coming across the animal in their travels, the Big Cat Rescue founder has stepped forward.
Baskin’s sanctuary in Tampa, Florida, is offering $5,000 ‘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,’ TMZ reports.
Baskin also confirmed India wouldn’t be taken to Big Cat Rescue, but another sanctuary would provide care to the animal. Whoever finds the tiger must work in cooperation with law enforcement, and those efforts must be ‘sufficient to convict both buyer and seller involved in the transfers of the tiger,’ according to the outlet.
She also said she’s concerned about India’s safety given the ‘serious lack of responsibility so far’ shown by the owners. Cuevas, who’s out on bond, alleges he doesn’t actually own the tiger.
However, Cuevas’ lawyer Michael Elliott told reporters: ‘We are both very anxious and looking forward to doing everything we can do to find India. We want to find India.’
Baskin also told CNN: ‘I am extremely worried about what happens with this tiger and the people around it. This has become commonplace in Texas.’
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