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Pot Smokers Greeted By Caged Tiger In Abandoned Houston House

Houston authorities nicknamed the tiger "Tyson" after the movie "The Hangover."

By Ethan Harfenist

Houston police say some people who went into an abandoned home to smoke marijuana got more than they bargained for when they found a caged tiger.

One of the pot smokers anonymously contacted police last week, and then the tiger was located on Monday by BARC Shelter officers. Authorities nicknamed the 350-pound tiger "Tyson" after the movie "The Hangover."

The tipster reportedly told police that they thought they were tripping when they first saw the gigantic cat, according to KPRC 2 Houston.

Officials tell KHOU-TV the tiger was well-fed, but the cage was secured by a nylon strap and screwdriver. 

Officials say it could have easily opened and the tiger could have gone on a "rampage." 

“A pretty small cage inside basically a garage in a house that didn’t look like it was in the best shape,” Houston city official Lara Cottingham told KPRC. “So it was important that we get it out of that situation.”

The tiger was taken to an animal shelter and will be transferred to an undisclosed animal sanctuary in Texas.

BARC's Animal Enforcement team preparing to transport a tiger found in an abandoned building to a secure location.

"We made arrangements for the tiger to be transferred to another facility that is licensed to handle exotic pets," Cottingham told ABC 13 Houston, adding that she is already caring for six exotic animals and it's no easy task.

It was previously reported that the tiger was being taken in by the Houston Zoo. However, the zoo has denied that that is the case.

“The Houston Zoo is aware of the tiger found in Southeast Houston on Feb. 11; however the Houston Zoo is not involved in this case, and is not receiving the tiger…” Houston Zoo Public Relations Director Jackie Wallace said in an emailed statement.

It's legal to own a tiger in Texas if the owner has a wild game permit. But it is illegal to have a tiger in Houston.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
[Photo: Houston BARC/Facebook]

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