Houston Highways Turning Into Wild Kingdom With Tiger, Alligators, Cows

Drivers around Houston over the last few days must be thinking, "holy cow!" And tigers, alligators, horses and monkeys. Those are some of the animals that have appeared along highways and other places in the Bayou City the last few days and months.

Just a few days after a driver hit a 300-pound, 10-foot alligator on Grand Parkway and dragged it at 70 mph for a mile, a tiger got loose and was seen near Highway 6 and Memorial drive. At the end of April, a cow was moseying along faster than the stalled traffic on I-10 East, and it was the same day another alligator made its way upon the tall Fred Hartman Bridge between La Porte and Baytown.

A 'Caution' sign on the side of a road at the J.N. (Ding) Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida USA Photo via Getty Images

The question isn't necessarily "What's in the water in Houston?" but rather, "what's out of the water and on the local streets and highways there?"

The most-recent creature prowling the new, wild kingdom of America's fourth-largest city happened Sunday night when someone in a Memorial neighborhood saw a tiger walking on a lawn. The tiger, who was wearing a collar, was eventually brought inside a home by a person. One video captures a man pointing a gun at that person. The man pointing the gun was later identified as an off-duty sheriff's deputy.

Houston police dispatchers received a call that was heard on Broadcastify.

"This is about a tiger. I'm on the phone with the caller, who is a sheriff's department sergeant, and he's holding the owner, and the owner is trying to leave," the dispatcher is heard saying.

In the northern suburb of Montgomery County last week, a man cruising along Grand Parkway at 70 mph at night struck the giant alligator, dragging it for nearly a mile. The man walked away from the incident, but the gator didn't make it through the accident alive. This incident happened just past the San Jacinto River bridge.

On the morning of April 28, an escaped cow got into the middle lanes of Interstate-10 near the Beltway 8 interchange. An already-slow commute got even slower, and not long after authorities got a call, there was a nearby wreck on I-10 West. It's unclear if the two were related. The Harris County Sheriff's Department called a livestock wrangling team to capture the cow, and the cow's owner showed up to reclaim it.

Great work by our Livestock Team. Cow was rescued, no harm. Owner was on scene. All lanes open. #HouNews https://t.co/v5hcEEPmWZ pic.twitter.com/PgzinaNPrK

— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) April 28, 2021

Not long after the cow incident, a gator began climbing the famous Fred Hartman bridge.

Here are some other random animal roamings around Houston over the last couple of years.

  • A cow was seen roaming the streets in the northern suburb of Willis.
  • In September last year, somebody dropped off rescue tortoises at Alvin's Bayou Wildlife Zoo, including 6-year-old Sheldon who needed medical attention. Minutes later, the turtles were stolen from the zoo.
  • In January of 2020, a capuchin monkey named Lilly escaped from a Galveston East End house, prompting a police search.
  • In 2018, a police horse ran away from a downtown Houston crime scene while its rider was inside investigating, setting off a gallop of memes, screams "what do you mean(s)" around the city.