A woman who called Houston's non-emergency dispatch line after discovering a tiger inside a cage at an abandoned home told the shocked dispatcher: "I'm not lying."
The Houston Chronicle obtained a recording of the call after animal rescue workers found the well-fed animal resting on a bed of hay inside a cage they said could be easily opened.
Police say a group of people looking for a place to smoke marijuana happened across the tiger on Tuesday.
The woman told the dispatcher: "It's pretty big." Authorities say the animal weighed 159kg.
Investigators have leads into who owned the tiger but say it may not be the person who owns the property.
The tiger, nicknamed Tyson after the movie The Hangover, has since made it safely to an animal sanctuary in East Texas.
Noelle Almrud, the director of Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, where the tiger is now staying, said the tiger was "very stressed" while being transported over the last few days, but that it has calmed down.
"We're hopeful that this tiger will become a permanent resident here at Black Beauty Ranch," Almrud said.