CONROE, Texas, April 22 (UPI) — A Texas police department is searching for the owner of a most unusual apparent pet found roaming the streets: a young female tiger.
The Conroe Police Department said officers received multiple calls just before noon Thursday about a tiger wandering in a residential neighborhood on Coral Cove Pass near League Line Road and Longmire Road.
Animal control officers captured the female tiger, which was found to be wearing a collar with a leash attached.
Resident Jonathan Gessner said he spotted the surprisingly friendly tiger crouching in the bushes Thursday morning.
“Out of nowhere it took off running towards me, put her paws on my shoulders and started licking me in the face,” Gessner told the Houston Chronicle. “I was really scared at first.”
The state of Texas allows for exotic animals to be kept with proper registration and insurance, but Conroe’s municipal code prohibits the keeping or harboring of a “dangerous animal” in the city.
A man who identified himself only as Cody claimed to be one of the animal’s owners.
“Her name is Nala. She’s very nice. She’s a 4-5 month old tiger,” Cody told KTRK-TV. “We dropped her off at a friend’s and I don’t really know how she got out.”
Police said they are working to determine the identity of the tiger’s owner.
Conroe police spokeswoman Dorcy McGinnis said the tiger’s owner would face a citation and the animal would not be allowed to remain in Conroe.
“At this point, we don’t even know if the animal’s original home is here in Conroe,” McGinnis said.