“Carole Baskin, founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue is offering a $5,000 reward to the person responsible for the immediate, safe hand over of India the Tiger to a sanctuary that is accredited by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries provided that person’s efforts with law enforcement is sufficient to convict both buyer and seller involved in the transfers of the tiger,” a post on Baskin’s Facebook stated Thursday.
Baskin has placed some responsibility for the tiger being on the loose since Mother’s Day on Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. Baskin and other supporters have been pushing the Big Cat Public Safety Act for years, which would have made it “illegal for the people using that cub to dump it into private ownership,” she told Fox News on Wednesday.
“That’s why we need our federal bill because each state has its own laws and the states are not equipped to handle this sort of thing,” Baskin explained. “The off-duty officer who showed up first to the scene and had the gun drawn on the cat, I mean, they’re not trained in how to deal with loose tigers and they shouldn’t have to be. They shouldn’t be in backyards or basements.”
Neither senator has commented directly, although Cruz did tweet out a gif of the Tiger King himself, Joe Exotic, doing a double-take in response to Baskin’s remarks.
The Houston tiger has been missing since Sunday, when viral video emerged showing an off-duty deputy with his gun drawn, squaring off with the big cat on a suburban street in a bizarre showdown before another man dragged it into an SUV and fled.
Carole Baskin is offering $5,000 for information leading to the recovery of a missing tiger named ‘India’ in Houston, Texas, and is calling on the public to be on the lookout. (José Antonio Ramos/GC Images)
Police later arrested Victor Hugo Cuevas, who was out on bail in connection with a 2017 murder charge. But they didn’t find the tiger.
Baskin further stated to Fox News that the fact the tiger remains on the loose makes her uneasy.
Carole Baskin said Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz bear some blame for the tiger being on the loose since Mother’s Day. (Netflix)
“I am really worried about the fact that it’s still on the loose because clearly, the people who have been managing this cat up until this point are not people who make good decisions,” she said.
“That cat looked like it had been out there in the front yard for a while before anybody even came looking for it so I am extremely worried about what’s going to happen to that cat or what that cat is going to do to somebody given the fact that nobody is turning them in,” added Baskin.
She continued: “I can’t believe that nobody knows where the cat is. Surely, somebody knows where this cat is. They’re just not making the right decision and calling the authorities to let them know.”
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz and Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.