People in the city of Conroe, Texas, were taken by surprise Thursday morning when they ran into none other than a young, female tiger wearing a collar and leash, wandering the streets with no owner in sight.As they later discovered, her name is Nala.
Even more alarming was the fact that Nala, who is about 5 months old, was captured by animal control officers after coming up to a total stranger, jumping on him with her paws on his shoulders and licking his face, CBS DFW reported.
Animal officials also told the news outlet that the tiger appeared "trained." Without knowing much more, this tiger's story is fairly obvious — she was someone's house pet. Texas law dictates that people can't own dangerous wild animals, like tigers, without first obtaining a license, which are not all that hard to get. Sadly, this feeds into the reality that there are more tigers in captivity in the U.S. than there are roaming free in the wild worldwide.
There are an estimated 5,000 tigers kept in tiny cages in American backyards and basements, while only around 3,000 live in forests across Asia and Russia, CNN reported. It's outright disturbing how easy it is to own a tiger in America.
A man named Cody, who didn't give his last name and claims to be Nala's owner, told ABC News that he dropped the tiger off at a friend's and doesn't know how she escaped.
It is currently unknown if Nala will be returned to her owner, or whether or not her owner will face charges for the animal's escape.
For more on how you can help change laws about exotic pet ownership and help big cats stay out of people's backyards and in the wild, check out the International Fund for Animal Welfare's Protect Big Cats campaign.
Source: The Dodo / Zainab Akande / Photo by Jason Fochtman
A Peaceful Farewell provides compassionate at home pet euthanasia to fellow pet owners in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, and most of the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
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