Game Wardens Raid Home of Man Who Tried to Sell Tiger

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EDINBURG – An Edinburg man is watching his family closely after finding out his neighbor had a tiger in their home late last year.

Texas Game Wardens raided the home on Soledad Street in Edinburg Tuesday to follow up on the case.

As CHANNEL 5 NEWS reported in December, authorities confiscated a 5-month-old tiger being offered for sale over the internet.

The tiger was taken by authorities to the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville.

Neighbor Rafael Gomez says he is shocked this happened next door.

Gomez has lived on Soledad Street for 12 years. He says he was surprised Tuesday when he saw something he had not seen before, a game warden at his neighbor’s place.

However, he admits there have been problems with animals on this street.

“Two years ago, the dogs – we have a lot of dogs – pit bulls, he crossed the fence, he killed my chickens,” says Gomez.

He says we were the first to tell him his neighbors were housing a potentially dangerous animal late last year. 

“Right now, you’re telling me a tiger? It’s incredible about my neighbors. I don’t know, I don’t know. It’s not good!” he says.

He says his first thought was about the safety of his three children and his wife.

Gomez says he doesn’t know if the neighbor would try to house another dangerous animal.

“I have my family, my kids play outside in my yard,” he notes.

CHANNEL FIVE NEWS was there Tuesday afternoon as Texas Game Warden officers raided the home where the animal was alleged to be offered for sale.

Game Warden Cpt. James Dunks says in order to protect Gomez’s family’s safety, more was needed in the investigation into the case.

“We’re back here today executing a search warrant, trying to get information and trying to determine where this tiger might have come from,” he says. “We’re trying to find out if there’s any type of illegal trade going on. We’re just digging into the case a little bit deeper than just the guy had a tiger and that’s it."

Dunks says, as part of the investigation, his team gathered information and took statements from the people accused of selling the tiger.

He says the neighborhood is heavily populated and having a tiger in one of the homes can be very dangerous.

The game warden says they did not find any other tiger or potentially dangerous animals in the home Tuesday afternoon.

The tiger remains under veterinary care at the zoo. Officials say they're waiting to a make a legal decision as to what to do with the tiger. 

They say the animal has adjusted to its new surroundings and is in good health. 


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