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Carole Baskin Offers $5,000 Reward For Return Of Missing Tiger In Houston

carole baskin offers reward missing tiger india houston
Source: MEGA

May. 14 2021, Published 7:28 a.m. ET

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Tiger King star Carole Baskin is offering $5,000 to anyone who safely returns a tiger spotted in Houston, Texas, over the weekend to a sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

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The deal also asks that the person turning in the tiger — a 9-month-old male Bengal named India, who was spotted roaming the streets — offer information to lead to the conviction of the people behind buying and selling the animal.

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The ordeal began when Jose Antonio Ramos spotted the big cat in his neighbor's yard on Sunday, May 9, and posted a photo into a neighborhood online forum. A sheriff's deputy who lives in the area showed up, while another neighbor, Victor Hugo Cuevas, pleaded with him not to shoot the tiger, CNN reported. 

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Cuevas then reportedly took the tiger away in a white SUV when officials arrived. Cuevas — who was free on bond for an unrelated murder charge — was caught and arrested for evading police but officials are still looking for the tiger.

Cuevas' attorney, Michael Elliott, told ABC 13 that Cuevas does not own India but does know the owner. Elliot did not say where Cuevas took the tiger but said he is helping to locate it. The outlet claimed that Cuevas is "known to possess several exotic animals."

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"People are making a lot of assumptions in this particular case," Elliott said. "Maybe he might be the hero out there who caught the tiger that was in the neighborhood."

"We are both very anxious and looking forward to doing everything we can do to find India," Elliot said at a press conference. "We want to find India." 

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"I was so impressed with the deputy that showed up on the scene because he did exactly the right thing, and he showed amazing restraint in not shooting that tiger," Baskin said on CNN. 

"He kept eye contact, he backed away slowly. A tiger, if you look down, if you turn, if that neighbor had run back to his door, that triggers their instinct to kill," she explained.

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Cuevas reportedly posted a $50,000 bond on Wednesday, May 12, after being charged with evading arrest/detention with a vehicle. 

Officials reportedly do not believe that India is roaming the streets or is loose. The investigation is still ongoing. 

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While owning a tiger is legal in Texas state law with certain restrictions, it is a violation of Houston law. Owning a tiger in Houston is a misdemeanor punishable with a maximum fine of $500.

A hearing for Cuevas is scheduled for Friday, May 14, after prosecutors asked to revoke his bail. The man was previously charged with murder when he allegedly shot and killed a man in 2017. He has also allegedly violated bail several times since his arrest, CNN reported. 

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