It’s not every day someone tries to steal a tiger — but then again, it’s not every day you find one freely walking around the neighborhood with a leash and collar.
Less than a week after a giant female cat was spotted roaming Conroe, Texas, authorities say someone broke into an animal shelter and tried to steal her.
Surveillance video from the Conroe Animal Shelter shows a masked intruder running around the facility with what appears to be a pair of bolt cutters on Wednesday morning.
Conroe police said they believe the unidentified individual was trying to steal the animal, which they described as "domesticated" in a email to The Huffington Post.
Fortunately, the suspect wasn't able to access the area where the tiger was being housed, and she has since been moved to the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Boyd, Texas, police said.
The break-in is only the latest bizarre incident involving the big cat. On April 21, Conroe locals found her prowling the city streets, dragging a leash behind her.
Despite the hair-raising sight, one man said he approached the animal like any other fluffy pet.
“I just walked up to it and it ran up to me and started kissing me in the face and licking me,” Jonathan Gessner told local CBS affiliate KHOU.
On Monday, a Houston man named Cody Tibbits came forward, claiming that he owned the tiger, authorities said.
Speaking to KHOU, Tibbits said he was trying to move the animal during the flooding last week when she escaped.
“I just want the best for her,” he told the station. “I want to make sure she’s cared for and not kept as a zoo animal … she’s not a threat.”
The Houston Chronicle reports that Texas residents are permitted to keep exotic animals as pets as long as they follow registration and insurance requirements. However, the city of Conroe has stricter regulations that prohibit anyone from keeping a “dangerous animal.”
Police are still trying to identify the person who was filmed breaking into the animal shelter, Lt. Dorcy McGinnis told the HuffPost via email.
The suspect "does not have the same physical description of the owner," McGinnis said.