Elsa the tiger rescued during Texas winter storm, gets new home
SAN ANTONIO - Elsa has finally gotten her fairy tale ending.
The tiger, who was aptly named Elsa after being found in freezing temperatures in San Antonio during Winter Storm Uri, has been transported to an animal protection organization after being found in unsuitable living conditions.
Footage shared by the Humane Society of the United States shows the six-month-old, 60-pound tigress being transported to Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch and then running around her enclosure.
"Elsa was someone’s ‘pet’ and wearing a harness when she was rescued in freezing temperatures by Bexar County authorities," wrote the Humane Society in a press release. "They placed her at a local wildlife rehabilitation center until the temperatures warmed up enough for her to be safely transported to the sanctuary."
According to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, deputies discovered the tiger after receiving a call concerning a "tiger in the cold" on Saturday, February 13. "When [deputies] came out on the scene, they found this beautiful young lady in temperatures that weren’t suitable for her, and actually in living conditions that weren’t suitable for her either," Sheriff Javier Salazar said.
The tiger's former owners were issued a Class C misdemeanor citation, according to KSAT. Elsa was then transported to San Antonio’s Southern Wildlife Rehab.
On Tuesday, February 23, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office shared footage of Elsa being prepared for transport from San Antonio’s Southern Wildlife Rehab to Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison.
"We’re calling her Elsa because of Frozen, because of the conditions that she was found in," Sheriff Salazar said in the video, adding: "She’s hopefully on the way to a fairy-tale ending."
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Owning a tiger is not illegal in the state of Texas, but owners need to go through a strict permit process. "The state strictly identifies dangerous animals," Shannon Sims, interim director for ACS, told KSAT. "Large cats are on that list, and that includes tigers, lions, cougars, and things like that. You have to have permits from the state, as well as from the federal level -- USDA. However, in the city of San Antonio, they are forbidden."
Katie Coyle, the director of government affairs and policy at Austin Pets Alive!, shared her opinions on owning an exotic animal on her personal Facebook page.
"Unbelievable that our local law enforcement officers across the state continue to deal with dangerous wild animals kept as pets. They are a threat to public safety, a threat to public health, and a major animal welfare concern," Katie Coyle wrote, in part. "I sincerely hope the Texas legislature works to address this state-wide problem before a tragedy occurs and someone else is killed or injured."
Storyful contributed to this article