There’s a reason that tigers and pets are not often associated with each other. Our pets are cuddly and innocent companions while tigers are majestic, yet fierce wild animals. But right now, the United States has a pet tiger problem that was made all the more apparent by recent news of a tiger left abandoned in a Texas home.
In early February, a person entered an abandoned home in Houston, Texas to smoke pot. Inside, the person found a tiger living in small cage, according to KTRK. Thankfully, the tiger was able to be relocated to a Texas sanctuary to live out the rest of its life.
While this story is certainly bizarre, it is not uncommon to find tigers living as pets in the US. In 2003, a Congressional report estimated that there are as many as 11,500 tigers living in private homes in the US. Other estimates put the US captive tiger population at 5,000. It is difficult to calculate an exact number of pet tigers as there is no universal database for these pets.