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Lara Cottingham, Houston city's chief sustainability officer, told KPRC-TV the tiger was found "in a pretty small cage inside.a house that didn't look like it was in the best shape".

"There were going to this vacant house to smoke marijuana, and they were greeted by a large tiger", said Sgt. Jason Alderete with the animal cruelty unit.

Let's say you're a Houston municipal employee taking non-emergency calls when an anonymous tipster claims to have entered an abandoned house a week or so before with a buddy to smoke marijuana - and the pair thought they were hallucinating when they saw a real, live tiger in there.

"He's in a rinky-dink cage that could easily bust open", said a police spokesman. The cage was kept in a garage that was held closed only with a nylon strap and a screwdriver, police say.

"They are basically a loaded gun pointed at anyone that encounters them", she said.

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'The Houston Zoo is aware of the tiger found in southeast Houston today, February 11; however, the Houston Zoo is not involved in this case, and is not receiving the tiger, as incorrectly reported, ' it said.

"We deal with, for the most part, puppies and kittens", said Cottingham.

A picture of the tiger was shared by Houston's BARC animal shelter.

"Finding a forever home for a tiger is not easy", said Heidi Krahn, executive director of the Center for Animal Research & Education. "Very, very rarely do we take in a tiger".

The tiger was tranquilized in order to move it out of the house, officials said. "Malayan tigers surviving on the Malay Peninsula are critically endangered with an estimated population of 300 remaining in the wild".