Video Shows Man in Cowboy Hat Chase and Lasso Escaped Tiger in Mexico

Viral footage shows three men chasing a runaway tiger that had broken loose from a private residence in Guadalajara, Mexico, before the big cat is eventually caught by a man in a white cowboy hat using a lasso.

The 23-second clip, filmed from inside a white van, emerged on social media earlier this week. It has since racked up hundreds of thousands of views online.

Un tigre que se paseaba por las calles de Jalisco fue atrapado por un hombre con sombrero y camisa blanca, que traía un lazo.
📹: CarlosWME

— Político MX (@politicomx) May 14, 2020

People online have called the clip Tiger King: Mexico, after Netflix's wildly successful Tiger King docuseries, which details the exploits of eccentric criminal Joe Exotic.

"Tiger King: México is going to be wild," said one Twitter user.

Tiger King: México is going to be wild

— Osvaldo 🏟 (@Osvaldo2Go) May 14, 2020

Another said: "Tiger King's season in Mexico looks interesting."

La temporada en México de Tiger king pinta interesante.

— Numeritos 🍕 (@08181) May 14, 2020

Others skipped the Tiger King references completely and were simply amazed at the sight of a tiger on city streets.

"I thought that was a cow. It's a friggin tiger," said one.

I thought that was a cow. It’s a friggin tiger.

— jamie (@gnuman1979) May 15, 2020

According to The Guardian, the incident took place after the animal made a break for it from a private residence in Tlaquepaque, a suburb of Guadalajara, on Tuesday.

Local government told the paper it sent its fire service out in response to calls about the tiger. However, there is little information concerning the identity of the men involved, or the tiger.

More tigers are held in captivity in the U.S. alone than there are left in the wild. In Mexico, the animal has become a status symbol for members of drug cartels.

"They [drug lords] like charismatic animals that symbolize power and strength: big cats such as lions, tigers and jaguars, along with big snakes, monkeys and nice-looking birds," Howard Campbell, a professor at the University of Texas who has studied gangster lifestyles, told Al Jazeera in 2011.

"In some cases, 20 or 30 animals have been found in pretty impressive facilities."

It remains legal to hold tigers in captivity provided the owners have the appropriate documents and abide by certain guidelines, which include rules on enclosure size as well as food and healthcare requirements. According to the Library of Congress, owners of big cats must be registered with Mexico's Department of Environment and Natural Resources or, in some cases, with the relevant state departments.

However, the Mexican government has taken steps to regulate the ownership of tigers in captivity. In 2015, the country introduced a ban on certain animals, including tigers, performing in circuses. The law came into force two years after Alexander Crispin Suarez, a trainer, was killed by a tiger during a performance in Etchojoa, north Mexico.

A crouching tiger
A photo of a tiger. A video has emerged of three men chased and captured a tiger in Mexico using a lasso. Pier Marco Tacca/Getty