The Citizen (Gauteng)

Police searching for fugitive tiger

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Washington – Police in an upscale Texas neighbourh­ood searched on Tuesday for a fugitive Bengal tiger that was seen roaming on lawns and streets until its apparent owner fled with the animal.

That man, who already had legal troubles, was arrested on Monday night for felony evasion of arrest after loading the tiger into a car and driving away, just as police arrived at his home in Houston.

But there was no sign of the big cat.

“The tiger portion of the investigat­ion is continuing,” Houston police tweeted after the arrest of 26-year-old Victor Hugo Cuevas, whose lawyer insisted the tiger does not belong to Cuevas.

News accounts said the cat lived in a house rented by Cuevas.

The drama began on Sunday evening when the tiger was seen walking calmly across front lawns in a neighbourh­ood in west Houston.

“I mean, I couldn’t believe it,” neighbour Jose Ramos told local television station KPRC. He took a picture, posted it on a neighbourh­ood blog with a warning for people to stay away, and called an emergency police number.

“It was very scary because this is a very family-oriented community, and you see lots of kids and (babies) strolling,” Ramos said.

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