Houston suspect arrested as pet tiger remains on the loose

image copyrightHouston police
image captionVictor Hugo Cuevas faces a charge of evading arrest over the incident

A murder suspect in Texas who was out on bail has been taken back into custody after neighbours called the police to alert them to a pet tiger wandering around a Houston neighbourhood.

When officers arrived on Sunday, the man put the Bengal tiger in an SUV, and drove off, police said.

Victor Hugo Cuevas, 26, now faces a separate charge of evading arrest, police said.

The tiger is still on the loose.

Footage shared on social media appeared to show a tiger on the leafy suburban streets.

Houston Police confirmed that Mr Cuevas had been arrested for evading arrest - but added that they did not know where the tiger was.

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Police Commander Ron Borza told reporters on Monday that the main concern had been finding both Mr Cuevas and the animal: "We have plenty of places we can take that tiger and keep it safe, and give it a home for the rest of its life.

"A lot of time, people get desperate and do silly things. We want to get him and get the tiger to a safe place."

Mr Cuevas' lawyer, Michael Elliott, said his client was not the owner of the tiger or taking care of the animal. He said his client was not guilty of any crime.

Tigers are not allowed within Houston city limits unless the handler, such as a zoo, is licensed to have exotic animals, police said.

Mr Borza said residents should not have such animals because they can be unpredictable.

"If that tiger was to get out and start doing some damage yesterday [on Sunday], I'm sure one of these citizens would have shot the tiger. We have plenty of neighbours out here with guns, and we don't want to see that.

"It's not the animal's fault. It's the breeder's fault. It's unacceptable," he said.

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