A tiger was spotted roaming outside a Houston home Sunday, leaving neighbors in shock.
Police say they are searching for the tiger’s owner, a man out on bond after being charged with murder in connection to a November case.
Video and pictures shared on social media show the tiger near a home and then later stray into the street of the neighborhood. The sighting was in the Memorial area, west of downtown Houston, according to KHOU.
“It has a collar. It is somebody’s pet,” a woman is heard saying in a video as she watches the tiger from a distance.
Another video that circulated on social media shows a man drawing a gun near the tiger. The man was later identified as an off-duty sheriff’s deputy who pointed the gun at the exotic cat to keep the neighborhood safe.
“He did an awesome job of controlling the situation,” a neighbor wrote on Twitter.
The neighbor shared photos of the tiger and said it was loaded into an SUV before the driver fled.
Houston Police Commander Ron Borza said Monday the owner of the tiger is a suspect in a murder case in Fort Bend County.
When questioned by police about the tiger, the man fled in a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Borza said. There was a chase, but officers lost him.
“My main concern right now is finding him and finding the tiger, because what I don’t want him to do is harm the tiger,” Borza said. “We have plenty of places we could take that tiger and keep it safe and give it a home for the rest of its life.”
Tigers are not allowed to be kept as pets in Houston, and the suspect faces a misdemeanor violation, the commander said.
“It was very scary because this is a very family-oriented community, and you see lots of kids and baby strolling,” a neighbor, Jose Ramos, told KHOU.