HOUSTON, Texas – As questions arise about the whereabouts of a tiger last seen in a Houston front yard, Carole Baskin weighs up the big cat mystery that has gripped not only a city but the nation as well.
Fans of the true crime documentary “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” know Baskin well. Baskin, the owner of the Big Cat Rescue in Florida, became a central figure in the miniseries of then-zoo owner and convicted criminal Joe Exotic.
And while what has evolved since Sunday night and turned into an ongoing saga may sound like something that fits right on a TV show, Baskin worries about the very real concerns about the welfare of a dangerous wildlife and the possible interaction with the public.
“This is a very dangerous animal and when it is free to run around and hide it will be more active at night and so people should keep their children and pets indoors. When people come across a big cat with no escape route, I mean.” if they can, they should get into a car or building, but if they can’t, do exactly what the off duty surrogate did, which is to keep in contact with the cat – don’t run, don’t avert your eyes , if it’s even possible to actually approach the cat because it usually kind of freaks them out, “explained Baskin.
Waller County, Texas, Baskin sheriff’s deputy refers to responding to the scene after receiving a notification on the Nextdoor app. The video taped by a witness showed a man leaving a house on Ivy Wall Drive and asking the proxy not to shoot the tiger. The footage then showed the man grabbing the tiger by the collar and leading him back into the house.
The man was later confirmed as Victor Cuevas, arrested on a police evasion crime after police alleged he escaped with the animal in a vehicle.
“It’s such a dangerous situation because this cat is not afraid of people, and yet any act of spinning, running, stumbling will trigger that killing instinct on a child who is just small,” Baskin said.
She also commented on the possible living conditions of the tiger. Cuevas’ attorney Michael Elliott has argued that the tiger is in good health and has taken care of him.
But the tiger habitats are usually made up of acres of land.
“The other thing that I notice made me really sad because when the cat went into the grass he put his whole body down so he could feel the grass under him and that tells me that poor cat probably is is held in a hard-ground, rebar cage, “she said.
We don’t know exactly where 9 month old India the tiger was kept.
Elliott told ABC News Tuesday that Cuevas had volunteered and had agreed to refer the police to the tiger and its real owner. However, he was betrayed at the last minute and arrested at his mother’s home in Fort Bend County, southeast of Houston.
You can see Baskin’s full interview in the video player above.
28-year-old Victor Cuevas, a suspect who was on bail for $ 125,000 for a murder in 2017, fled from Ivy Wall Dr. This is where you can find out almost everything you need to know about those who buy and sell tigers. https://t.co/iWAal0YMQK
– CaroleBaskin (@carole_baskin) May 10, 2021
SEE MORE: What’s Next For Victor Cuevas, And What Does Carole Baskin Think Of All Of This?
ABC News contributed to this report.
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