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Houston tiger found at abandoned home will remain at wildlife sanctuary

A tiger that was found in abandoned Houston home arrived at its new home at a North Texas ranch Feb. 12, 2019.
A tiger that was found in abandoned Houston home arrived at its new home at a North Texas ranch Feb. 12, 2019. (Humane Society of the United States)

HOUSTON – A tiger found at an abandoned Houston home in February will remain at a Texas wildlife refuge. 

A judge ruled that the male tiger, seized Feb. 11 from a residence in the 9400 block of East Avenue J in southeast Houston, will remain at the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas.

The wildlife sanctuary has been caring for the 400-pound tiger since Feb. 13.

The tiger will be able to get the proper care he needs to live out the rest of his days at the ranch.

The ranch already has two tigers among its 800 resident animals.

READ: What you need to know about Houston-area exotic animal laws

The judge also ordered the tiger's owner, Brittany Garza, to pay nearly $12,000 for fees associated with the impounding and care of the big cat.

No charges have been filed against Garza at this time.

An anonymous tipster reported seeing the animal in early February. The tipster said they were at the house to smoke marijuana and thought they were hallucinating when they first saw the tiger, according to police.

READ: Transcript of tipsters 311 call about the tiger

The tiger was found in a "rinky-dink" cage in the garage, which was not locked, police said. The garage was secured with a screwdriver and a nylon strap, according to police.

The Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch told KPRC2 the tiger is adjusting nicely. They said the animal enjoys napping and playing with a favorite toy -- a blue ball.