Big cats seized from Bexar County home were not properly cared for, San Antonio zoo says

Multiple agencies investigating big cats cases in Bexar County

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Control Services and U.S. Fish & Wildlife are investigating the recent cases involving big cats seized and spotted in Bexar County-area neighborhoods this month.

ACS says an email tip about wild animal sounds coming from a home off Shane Road, near Southton, led them to find a 14-week-old tiger and 5-year-old bobcat on Tuesday.

The big cats taken by authorities were not in good health, said Tim Morrow, president and CEO of the San Antonio Zoo. The zoo has taken in the animals temporarily.

“He was not on a proper diet for a tiger of that age, which was pretty obvious to our vets and our staff right away,” Morrow said. “The bobcat is about 5 years old. We believe he has some vision problems and some stability problems. He really looks a little bit geriatric to us, and there’s a 5-year-old bobcat. That’s not normal.”

The animals will be cared for by the San Antonio Zoo until they are sent to an animal sanctuary, Morrow said. Click here to learn more.

A month ago, a tiger cub was also taken from a home in southwest Bexar County. After spotting a cub in their backyards days before, neighbors called the police, but the cub was not located then.

Animal advocates are keeping an eye on two pieces of legislation at the state and federal level that would make it illegal to own these types of exotic animals:

  • House Bill 4049 was introduced in the Texas Legislature this year. If enacted, the bill would make it illegal to own a list of exotic pets.
  • The Big Cat Public Safety Act is in a congressional subcommittee right now. If enacted, the bill would make it illegal to own tiger petting facilities and exotic big cats.

Morrow says people in our communities need to speak up when they have information about dangerous animals being kept illegally for the sake of the safety of our community and the animals.

About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Before starting KSAT in 2017, Lee was a photojournalist at KENS 5, where he won a Lone Star Emmy in 2014 for Best Weather Segment. In 2009 and 2010 Lee garnered first-place awards with the Texas Association of Broadcasters for Best Investigative Series in College Station, as well as winning first place for Staff Photojournalism in 2011 at KBTX.

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