MURCHISON, Texas — Once stuck in a small cage, a tiger named Tyson is stretching his legs in a quarantine enclosure at Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison.
The story of the tiger made national headlines after he was found under an interesting set of circumstances.
Authorities say a couple of people discovered the animal when they went into an abandoned house to smoke marijuana.
They called the 3-1-1 non-emergency hotline and informed Houston authorities, who then took the necessary steps to move the tiger.
Once he receives a full examination and is deemed health, Tyson will be introduced into one of three spacious Black Beauty Ranch tiger enclosures.
Ranch Director Noelle Almrud says the seemingly young tiger will certainly benefit from his new circumstances.
"He was found in a filthy tiny crate. So we estimate he’s probably never been on grass before. And we don’t know if he’s ever seen another tiger before," Almrud said. "We’ve been watching him, and when there’s no reporters here, we see him rolling in the grass and laying in the sun and acting like he should. So we’re hoping that he’s settling in."
Almrud says the Black Beauty Ranch is working with Houston authorities to make the Tiger’s move to the sanctuary a permanent one.
“We work with the Houston District Attorney and BARC, the animal rescue organization," Almrud said. "They were phenomenal with this transfer, and we work with them to secure transfer once the appropriate time has passed.”
Black Beauty Ranch has more than 800 animals living on their 1,400 acre property, including two other tigers.
Charlie was rescued from a breeder in 2016. Alex was a former pet who came to Black Beauty in 2014.
Almrud says that while this new tiger was nicknamed Tyson by crews that originally picked him up, she is not sure what they are going to officially name him.
The person who was keeping the tiger has yet to step forward.
It is legal to own a pet tiger in the state of Texas.
However, it is illegal in Houston. Should the owner be identified, Houston police say charges will depend on their current investigation into the situation.