Reality star Carol Baskin has defeated Texas senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn as the search for a stray pet tiger in Houston stretches to Day Four.
Baskin, who rose to fame in the Netflix documentary Tiger King, says senators are blamed for the current antics for failing to sign its Big Cat Public Safety Act last year.
The federal bill, passed in the House of Representatives, aims to ban individuals from owning tigers and other large animals as pets.
Texas state laws currently allow big cats to be kept as pets – although the city of Houston has its own separate rules that stop people from doing so.
“This has become a bit commonplace in Texas,” Baskin claimed during an interview with CNN on Wednesday morning.
‘I really hope that Sens. Cruz and Cornyn will sign the Big Cat Public Safety Act because if they had last year, when the house passed this bill, this wouldn’t have happened. ‘
Carol Baskin destroyed Texas senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn during a CNN appearance Wednesday as the search for the tiger stretched to Day Four
While Baskin was an advocate for big cats, Tiger King fans took to Twitter after creating memes mocking the reality star for weighing in on the new Texas saga.
The nine-month-old Bengal tiger, called India, has been at large in Houston since Sunday when alleged owner, Victor Hugo Cuevas, 26, bundled the animal into the back of his white Jeep Cherokee while on the run from police.
He was later caught and arrested, but there is still no sign of his predator pet.
A Houston police department told DailyMail.com on Wednesday that there was no further evidence of the big cat’s whereabouts, but they would post updates on Twitter as soon as they have them.
Cuevas is a suspect in the July 2017 murder of 20-year-old college student Oseikhuemen Omobhude, who was shot outside a sushi restaurant in Richmond, west of Houston.
The nine-month-old Bengal tiger, called India, has been at large since Sunday when its alleged owner, Victor Hugo Cuevas, bundled the animal in the back of his white Jeep Cherokee while on the run from police.
Victor Hugo Cuevas, 26, is a July 2017 suspect in the murder of college student Oseikhuemen Omobhude, 20, who was shot outside a sushi restaurant in Richmond, west of Houston.
Police lost the jeep in the high-speed chase before arresting Cuevas at his parents’ house the following evening, but there was no sign of the tiger.
Images on social media showed the animal roaming a western Houston neighborhood on Sunday, sparking the large-scale search for the predator.
Cuevas has not disclosed if he has a friend who hides the tiger in a house.
However, on Wednesday, Cuevas’ attorney Michael Elliott insists that the big cat is not his client’s.
He told ABC that the tiger actually belongs to a man named ‘D’, or Deandre, who is now sending Cuevas death threats.
‘You are dead boy’, one of the unverified texts would have been read.
“You don’t know anything,” said another.
Baskin denounced Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn for failing to sign the Big Cat Public Safety Act
Cuevas’ lawyer, Michael Elliott, insists the big cat does not belong to his client. He told ABC the tiger actually belongs to a man named ‘D’ who is now sending Cuevas death threats
Social media users poked fun at Carole Baskin after seeing her about the saga on CNN
Meanwhile, attorney Michael Elliott says it’s bizarre that the tiger hasn’t been found yet, referring to some sort of cover up in his interview with ABC.
“This is Houston … They have police in every corner, Motorola radios, Fox (helicopter) in the air. How often do you see people running in an SUV that doesn’t get caught? Something isn’t right here, ”he said.
Residents of West Houston were warned of the tiger’s presence on Sunday.
Waller County Sheriff’s deputy, Wes Manion, discovered the big cat loose on the street and tried to keep him away from the residents.
Video footage shows him drawing his weapon and aiming it at the tiger, which appears to be stalking him.
“The last thing I wanted was to shoot the tiger,” Manion told KHOU. “It didn’t seem super aggressive.”
Waller County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Wes Manion approaches tiger size, Monday, May 10, 2021, in Houston
The tiger, identified as a Bengal by a neighbor, approaches a man with a weapon aimed at it in a menacing manner
A tiger had roamed free Sunday night in the quiet residential area of Ivy Wall Drive in West Houston. Four days later it has still not been found
“Houston’s very own Tiger King,” said another poster, featuring a photo of Cuevas with the tiger
Further footage shows Cuevas arriving and dragging the tiger inside to a house he’s been renting for six months.
Manion angrily asked why the tiger was running free, and Cuevas can be seen on video saying to him, “We’re at the zoo.”
Manion orders Cuevas to get the tiger back into his house, and Cuevas grabs the tiger’s collar and walks into a house with it.
A short while later, he is said to have bundled the big cat into his jeep and go into chase with the police.
After being arrested at his parents’ home, Cuevas appeared in court in Harris County on Tuesday, where a magistrate sentenced $ 50,000 bail for a felony to evade arrest.
Cuevas has been charged with the July 2017 murder of University of Houston dental student Oseikhuemen Omobhude, 20, outside the Bella Terra shopping center in Richmond, west of Houston, ABC7.com reported.
According to eyewitness accounts, Omobhude was approached by two men on motorcycles and shot several times in his car. He was able to drive a few hundred yards to seek help at a nearby Buffalo Wings Restaurant, but later died at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital.
The motive for the shooting is still unclear, nor is it known why Cuevas was out on bail after being charged with such a serious crime.
Cuevas was arrested at an airport two weeks after the murder while returning from Mexico. KHOU11 reported.
He was charged with first degree murder three years later in 2020 and currently has $ 125,000 bail. A second man was also arrested in connection with the shooting.
Cuevas is on bail for the 2017 murder of Oseikhuemen ‘Ose’ Omobhude, 20, who was shot in the parking lot of a popular sushi restaurant
Ceuvas is featured in his 2017 mugshot after being arrested in connection with the murder of student Oseikhuemen Omobhude
You CAN keep a tiger as a pet in Texas … but not in Houston
Texas has some of the most lenient exotic pet ownership laws in the country.
Humans can own “dangerous wild animals” – including lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, hyenas, bears, coyotes, baboons, chimpanzees and gorillas – as long as they have the correct papers.
Anyone wishing to own a dangerous animal in the state must demonstrate that they can properly cage and care for it in order to qualify for a permit from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife.
Owners must provide photos of the animal and photos of the enclosure and provide a statement from a licensed veterinarian confirming that the animal has been inspected.
They must also have liability insurance.
However, cities and counties have their own laws about the ownership of exotic pets, and in Houston, the possession of dangerous animals within city limits is illegal.