HOUSTON – India the tiger is still missing in Houston.
Now, Carole Baskin, a star of the Netflix hit documentary “Tiger King,” is stepping in to provide a $5,000 reward “to the person responsible for the immediate, safe handover of India the tiger to a sanctuary that is accredited by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries,” according to a Facebook post Thursday.
Baskin added that the person’s efforts must be “sufficient to convict both buyer and seller involved in the transfer of the tiger.”
According to Baskin, the founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, India, a Bengal Tiger, is probably 6 months old and about 150 pounds.
“I felt so bad for this cat,” Baskin told KPRC 2 on Tuesday. “It had probably never been free in its entire life.”
Over the weekend, residents in the Fleetwood subdivision were stunned to find a tiger sitting on a neighbor’s front lawn. In a cellphone video, a man, identified as Victor Cuevas, kissed the cat on the head before straddling the animal and leading it into a house.
He later fled from the police with the tiger, leading them on a chase before getting away.
“I think he definitely believed he had a relationship with that cat that would allow him to do that and not be killed,” Baskin said.
On Tuesday, Cuevas’ lawyer, Michael Elliott, said he and his client are working to find India the tiger, who they said was about 9 months old.
“We are both very anxious and looking forward to doing everything we can do to find India. We want to find India,” he said.
Despite Cuevas capturing the tiger and there being evidence that the tiger was inside of his home and backyard, Elliott said his client does not own the tiger. The attorney said he could not elaborate on Cuevas’ connection to the animal or how Cuevas separated from the animal Sunday.
“We all love animals, including my client,” Elliot said. “We want to find India and we are going to work hard to do that.”
Elliot said that all questions regarding his client’s knowledge of the tiger will be answered during a bond hearing in Fort Bend County on Friday at 10 a.m.
This comes after Cuevas was arrested and charged Monday with felony evading arrest.
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