City of Conroe awarded temporary custody of tiger found wandering

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The Conroe found wandering in Conroe last week was awarded to the city during a hearing on Tuesday. (Courtesy of Jonathan Gessner and Erin Poole)

The city of Conroe has been awarded temporary custody of a tiger found wandering last week.

It won't stay with the city for long, though. A transfer is scheduled Wednesday morning to the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary in North Texas.

During a hearing Tuesday afternoon at the Conroe Municipal Courthouse, a judge ruled that the tiger was abandoned.

"Considering all of those things, I'm going to award temporary custody to the city of Conroe with the understanding that the animal will be transferred to the agency that's recommended," the judge ruled.

Conroe police testified that the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary was recommended by the Houston Zoo and the Houston SPCA.

Animal control officers found the young female tiger named Nala wearing a collar and a leash last week. Her owner, Cody Tibbitts, insisted in an interview after the court hearing that he did take care of the animal and was doing his own work to send her to a different sanctuary. He's disappointed he's lost his chance to have a say in her future.

"I don't know what else I can do at this point, further," said Tibbitts.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Tiger found wandering loose in Conroe area
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The Conroe Police Department is trying to find the owner after a tiger was found wandering loose.

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