Carole Baskin blames Texas Sens. Cruz, Cornyn for escaped Houston tiger

Carole Baskin blames Texas Sens. Cruz, Cornyn for escaped Houston tiger

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Big Cat Rescue founder and Netflix’s “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin clawed at Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz Wednesday, accusing them of bearing some responsibility for the missing tiger that has horrified Houston residents since Mother’s Day.

“I really hope that Senators Cruz and Cornyn will sign onto the Big Cat Public Safety Act, because if they had last year when the House passed this bill – the Senate didn’t bring it up for a vote – this wouldn’t have happened,” she told CNN in a televised interview Wednesday.

The act, which saw some bipartisan support in the House, is also supported by animal rights activists. It would crack down on the breeding and ownership of exotic pets like lions and tigers and would have made it illegal to keep one as a house pet.

Neither senator’s office responded immediately to Fox News requests for comment, although Cruz tweeted out a gif of the Tiger King himself, Joe Exotic, doing a double take in response to Baskin’s remarks.

The Houston tiger has been missing since Sunday, when viral video emerged showing an off-duty deputy with his gun drawn, squaring off with the big cat on a suburban street in a bizarre showdown before another man dragged it into an SUV and fled.

Police later arrested Victor Hugo Cuevas, who was out on bail in connection with a 2017 murder charge. But they didn’t find the tiger.

Cuevas’ lawyer Michael Elliott has said the tiger, named India, does not belong to his client and indicated that it was being sheltered somewhere. He said he told police it was with an exotic animal trader named “Deandre,” or just “D” for short. 

But the animal remained unaccounted for as of Wednesday.

Cuevas was released on bond again Wednesday in connection with the latest incident.

During her appearance, Baskin also praised the off-duty deputy’s response as “exactly the right thing” as no people or animals were hurt in the encounter.

“He kept eye contact, he backed away slowly,” she told the network. “A tiger, if you look down, if you turn, if that neighbor had run back to his door – that triggers their instinct to kill.”

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