Dead Tiger Found in Texas

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 27th, 2007

How often are such discoveries made, but never reported? Without the incident in San Francisco, would this one have ever been published?

Sanitation crews in Dallas [Texas] made a shocking discovery after they received a call about a dead animal on Christmas Eve.

An adult tiger was found dead when the crews searched a wooded area near Interstate 35E and Overton Road. A city spokesperson said the tiger has been shot several times.

The animal, which was declawed and wearing a collar, was taken to the Dallas Zoo.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the United States Department of Agriculture are investigating the incident and searching for the owner of the tiger.“Tiger found dead near I-35 on Christmas,” by David Schechter, WFAA-TV, Thursday, December 27, 2007.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

10 Responses to “Dead Tiger Found in Texas”

  1. kittenz responds:

    This is the dirty maggoty underbelly of the exotic cat pet trade.

    Nobody knows how often this happens. But there are thousands of backyard tigers in Texas, thousands more across the country, and even more thousands being bred every year for the cute cuddly cubs that keep the petting zoo photo booths stocked.

    All those tigers (and other exotic cats) go somewhere when they get too big and rough to handle, or too expensive to feed. Sanctuaries – real ones that don’t breed the animals or exploit them – are few and far between, and for every cat that finds a place in a good sanctuary, dozens more end up passed from bad to worse.

    Canned hunts. Starvation. Abandonment. The lucky castoffs get euthanasia. The rest end up like this one.

  2. Sunny responds:

    And tragically no one to blame — a discarded pet, racing up on a person for food and comfort, and the person not having any reason to know that the tiger was tame and declawed.

    What a waste of a beautiful animal.

    All the more reason to support folks like Big Cat Rescue ( — and to educate the public that these are NOT just big kittens.

  3. Ceroill responds:

    I agree. Tragic and horrible. Just the thought of canned hunts makes me wish it was legal to return the favor.

  4. kittenz responds:

    From the story at the link here, I get the impression that authorities believe the tiger’s owner did this. If that’s true, it’s reprehensible. If he or she could not afford humane euthanasia, they could have given the animal up to a shelter. Sadly, the animal shelters in the larger cities in Texas are all too accustomed to receiving unwanted big cats.

  5. ETxArtist responds:

    I’m very familiar with that area. It’s heavily wooded (for Dallas) and is part of the industrial part of town- you know the type of place, lots of generic metal buildings, scrapyards and such. It would be a great place to go out and destroy an animal without drawing too much attention. No one really notices (or cares) what goes on in that part of town, it’s rundown and purely utilitarian. By the way, and much more interesting, a reliable witness told me that two months ago she was hiking in the Dallas Nature Center (actually much closer to the Cedar Hill/Duncanville area) and saw a ‘black panther’ in the path quite a ways in front of her. She said it had a heavy body and didn’t seem alarmed by her presence. She got out of the area as quickly as she could. My guess, as a biologist who worked for the Ft. Worth Zoo for five years, spent another nine years as an environmental consultant in the Metroplex and has handled everything from snow leopards to gaboon vipers, is a released jaguar. Oh, and I just remembered, an employee at my favorite wine store told me he recently spotted a ‘black panther’ on Lake Cherokee, in East Texas. He said he saw its ‘big ole tail’ swishing around while it laid on a log near the water.

  6. mauka responds:

    I wonder if theses people plan of it coming to this or if they think hey maybe a giant feline would be a great pet. It just doesn’t make any sense. I keep reptiles and even I see a problem with keeping a giant snake or monitor. Yes people do keep them.

  7. Ceroill responds:

    It’s astounding and dismaying to me what people seem to think will make a good pet/showpiece. One detail about this incident that just hit home to me was that the animal had been declawed. Releasing an animal into a strange environment is bad enough. But one that has been declawed???? Please excuse me as I get emotional for a moment- AAAAAARRRGGHHHH!!! Ok, I’m calm again. (walks off muttering and shaking my head in wonderment and dismay)

  8. Mnynames responds:

    So are you saying that there may be more tigers in American captivity than may exist in their natural habitat? OK, so Texas is a big state, but thousands of Texan tigers seems a bit much. Then again, I know a rescue zoo that has 3 big cats from the same guy, thankfully (and quite improbably) caught each time he tried to smuggle one into New Jersey…once in the back of his truck. Mind you, I think those were Florida cougars, but the zoo had no shortage of tigers either. I just went to their website, and it says the following-

    “We are currently home to four Bengal tigers, all from Texas. Two had been purchased with the thought to use them in a canned hunt, and the other two were neglected and starved in sanctuaries that didn’t have the funds to care for them.”

    At first, when I heard about this tiger being found, I thought it was some imbecilic owner overreacting to the news from San Fran, but from the dateline above, the report of this animal’s presence seems to predate the SF event. Loren’s right about how many of these incindents we might never hear of, owing to the media’s tendency to focus on things. Seriously, how many times have you heard about a train crash, or some disaster of unusual circumstances, only to then learn of 3 or 4 more just like it in the ensuing days or weeks? The conclusion must be that these sorts of things happen all the time, but seldom emerge from the local news reports to find a wider audience. The tiger story may be played out by now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we heard of one or 2 more obscure incidents (Especially if there really is that many tigers in captivity around).

  9. kittenz responds:

    I don’t recall all the sources, offhand, but I have read quotes and seen documentaries that state there are between 3,000 and 5,000 tigers in private hands in Texas. That number does not include tigers in accredited zoos.

    There are thousands more in other states, notably California, Florida, and Ohio.

  10. kittenz responds:

    There may be as many as 10,000 “pet” tigers in the USA. The vast majority are of uncertain parentage and therefore are not acceptable for any sort of species survival plan.

    In some states it is easier and less expensive to acquire a tiger cub than to get a purebred dog.

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