Tiger's handler, who is accused of murder, reveals plans if he kept animal

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The man who made national headlines with a pet tiger in west Houston has written a new tribute to the big cat.

Victor Cuevas posted an emotional photo caption on Instagram Wednesday night about the Tiger named India.

He called the big cat "my best friend, my teammate, my workout buddy, my dance partner, my happiness."

Cuevas paired the tribute with never-before-seen photos and videos of the tiger, including a video of him feeding India out of a bottle as a cub, a video of him dancing with India outside and a video of India chasing Cuevas around the house.

"India was my pride and joy," Cuevas wrote. "Taking care of him and raising him to be the happiest tiger in the world was the highlight of life."

Cuevas went on to explain that he had been working to purchase land to build an enclosure for the big cat. He said he found a 22-acre property 45 minutes away from Houston and was weeks away from finalizing the purchase.

"One thing I always promised him was that very soon I would buy our land and build him a beautiful enclosure with a swimming pool so we can both swim on those hot Texas days," Cuevas wrote. "He probably heard me tell him that every week. I would promise him that I would do everything I can to raise him to be a old beautiful tiger and that he'll never be apart from us."

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Cuevas has been in the center of the case ever since neighbors saw the big cat escape last month.

Cuevas was out on bond for a 2017 murder case in Fort Bend County. His bond was revoked after the tiger escaped and he was charged with evading police, but he's now back out on bond once again.

India was finally located and is now at Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas.

SEE ALSO: India the tiger appears to be loving his new north Texas home
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India seems to be feeling right at home at his new habitat. Adorable video from the Humane Society shows him splashing in a pond and playing with toys.



Read the full tribute Cuevas wrote to India the tiger here:

"India the tiger.

I want to share a little something about our beautiful, loving, caring boy India Papi. To the world he's just a pretty tiger, to me he's my best friend, my teammate, my workout buddy, my dance partner, my happiness. India was my pride and joy. Taking care of him and raising him to be the happiest tiger in the world was the highlight of life. Spending time playing and running around with India made me feel like I was living a dream.

Every time I saw him I sang his little song, "INDIA PAPI, iiindia papi, INDIA papii!!" And every time before we played or before I fed him or gave him his bottles, I would tell him "Besitos India, Besitos Señor," and he would close him mouth and tilt his head up to kiss his me, he later learned to put his paws on my shoulders and kiss me while standing. He is so intelligent at such a young age it was impressive. I remember how he would cry like a baby when he was a little cub and the only thing that he'll want is to be picked up and kissed continuously. He loved balls and especially popping balloons. I would blow up 20 balloons and let him pop them all. On days that I didn't practice MMA at the gym, India would be my running buddy and when we were tired, I would lay next to him and talk to him. One thing I always promised him was that very soon I would buy our land and build him a beautiful enclosure with a swimming pool so we can both swim on those hot Texas days. He probably heard me tell him that every week. I would promise him that I would do everything I can to raise him to be a old beautiful tiger and that he'll never apart from us.

I was so close to buying our land. I had found the perfect 22 acre property 45 minutes from Houston, we were weeks away from having everything finalized. It was a life long dream that was starting to become a reality, all I ever wanted in life was to marry my long time best friend - which I did, become the UFC world champion and now raise this beautiful little tiger who stole a piece of my our hearts. My wildest dreams seemed to be one step closer.

And on Mother's Day May 9th , 2021, my entire life flashed before my eyes as I see a man pointing a gun at India, I couldn't fathom loosing him so I put myself between him and bullet knowing I would die for this little cat who I called my best friend.

From that day a piece of my heart was shot.

India, although I might never get to run with you again, never get the chance to swim with you. Never hear your chuffs in person, Never dance with you and make funny videos to send to your mom. I thank you for the love you showed us, the memories we made, your kisses, I'll always hug your pillow at night and I'm very grateful for the 1 in a million bond we shared. That will forever live within me and through the grace of God I can of day make good on my promise to you.

We love you with all of our entire hearts little boy, always and forever."


MORE ABOUT TIGER:
India the tiger safely transferred to North Texas animal sanctuary

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Farewell, India The tiger was loaded up to a trailer and headed out to a ranch to live with other tigers.


Victor Cuevas' bond revocation hearing drags out despite big cat being handed over
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A contentious daylong, back-and-forth hearing resulted in handcuffs being back on Victor Cuevas' wrists as fears rise of the tiger's whereabouts.


Suspect's wife turned India the tiger over to authorities on Saturday, HPD says
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Houston police said Victor Cuevas' wife told them that her husband has owned India the Tiger for the last nine months when she turned the hundred pound animal in. Watch officials describe how they wagered the handoff.


Accused murderer who had tiger getting death threats from animal's actual owner, attorney says
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As Victor Cuevas left a Fort Bend County jail Wednesday, the whereabouts of 9-month-old India remained unknown.

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