A tiger was found wandering in a Conroe neighborhood Thursday and authorities are now looking for its owner, according to police.
The Conroe Police Department received numerous calls around 11 a.m. about the loose tiger wandering near houses in the Water Crest subdivision.
The young female tiger was found in the area of Coral Cove Pass near Longmire and League Line by a couple walking in the area.
Jonathan Gessner, 19, and his girlfriend, Erin Poole, encountered what they expected would be a wild animal, and at first they were frightened.
Gessner said the big cat was crouching in a menacing way. But what happened next, just blew his mind.
"She runs up to me, jumped on me and put her paws on my shoulders and just starts licking my face like a dog. I thought it was pretty cool," Gessner said.
The young, female tiger was wearing a collar and had a leash attached.
As sweet as she is, Conroe Police Department says it's dangerous to have these animals in city limits, and they anticipate ticketing the owners, but are having difficulty pinning down who it is.
"We have located two possible owners, there's a little dispute, there's no paperwork on who actually owns it," Sgt. James Waller said.
He says the dispute on who the tiger belongs to could lead to a legal custody battle to determine the rightful owner and in the meantime, the tiger can't stay at the Conroe Animal Shelter.
"Houston SPCA, I contacted them yesterday and spoke with one of their representatives, they have housed tigers in the past so we've reached out to them to see what we can do," Waller said.
It's more likely the animal will be relocated before it's handed over to a resident again, Waller said.
As for Gessner and Poole, they have a story they will never forget, about the big cat that turned out to be anything but wild.
The Conroe Police Department said the owner has been located and they are working on a safe solution to find a permanent home. The tiger is under care and is safe, police said.
There will be a hearing next week to determine what's next for the tiger.
A young female tiger has been found roaming wild in Conroe... we will have the very latest on the capture of this beautiful animal at 4:00 on #KPRC2.Posted by KPRC2 Bill Spencer on Thursday, April 21, 2016