Remember those times exotic animals got loose in the Houston area?

Wallabies, a tiger and an aggressive monkey

HOUSTON – A tiger has been spotted in the Houston area. This is not the first time an exotic animal has roamed free in the Houston area.

Take a look back at some of the most notorious cases:


In 2019, an anonymous tipster reported finding a 400-pound tiger in an abandoned Houston home. The animal was removed from the home and later a woman was charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals. Investigators said the 400-pound male tiger was found by a woman who waited nearly a week before she called 311 to report the animal. In the call, the woman said she had gone to the house because she met a man who said he needed to go to a house and feed his tiger. She said the animal was being kept in a small cage. Authorities seized the tiger and it has since been relocated to the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchinson. The woman said she had bottlefed and raised the tiger, which she named Raja, and that the large cat was never abandoned. She said the animal was about to be transported to its new home when it was found by police. Read more about the case here.


Nahla the tiger was a big story in April of 2016 when she was found wandering around Coral Cove Pass in Conroe. She was wearing a leash and a collar when she crossed paths with a couple walking in the area. After being flooded with calls about the tiger on the streets, Conroe police and animal control went to that location to retrieve the animal. Authorities eventually tracked down Nahla’s owner, who lost custody of the tiger. A judge later ruled that Nahla be sent to the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Boyd, Texas to live out her days in captivity. We contacted the IEAS for an update on Nahla; an employee said she is still there and enjoying her surroundings at the sanctuary.

Read more about the case here.


An aggressive monkey that attacked a teenager in the city of South Houston last summer is still on the loose. The incident in July of 2017 was reported near the intersection of Austin and Iowa streets; that's where a girl and her grandfather from Pasadena were driving and saw the monkey. The girl told police she wanted a picture of the monkey, so they stopped the truck. The monkey jumped into the truck and scratched the girl. The grandfather quickly reacted and punched the monkey. It ran away. We checked with the South Houston Police Department this week and learned the monkey has not been found.

Read more on the case here.


At least one sighting was reported in Sweeny a few days after a male wallaby and female wallaby got away from their owner. Deputies told KPRC that the owner is licensed with the USDA to have exotic animals and is licensed to breed the wallabies. Deputies said the wallabies were bred in Texas and that the owner had had them imported to the area on April 30 with the intent of breeding them, but the wallabies got loose later that day. Brazoria County Animal Control say they are still at large.

Read more on the case here.