Reports of tiger still have county on alert
No evidence yet, but Brazoria officials are looking into claims
By PAIGE HEWITT
Dec. 18, 2009, 8:07PM
Law officers in Oyster Creek have been fielding reports for days from residents convinced they’ve seen a tiger roaming the Brazoria County town.
“I can’t say people are making this up at this point but in this business you’ve got to take everything seriously,” said Oyster Creek police officer Byron Rexses.
Rexses said the most recent sighting, bringing total reports to a handful, came Friday morning.
“I was sitting in my patrol car on the side of the road and a guy drove up beside me and told me he saw him,” Rexses said.
The man told Rexses he was fishing with his buddies on the north end of Oyster Creek — about a mile from the first sighting reported Tuesday night — when they spotted a large animal on the banks.
“They thought it was a cougar,” he said. “They shined the spotlight on it and it ran away.”
On the lookout
Rexses emphasized while there is no physical evidence a tiger is milling about the banks of the creek — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens found nothing, even with night vision gear — there could be serious danger if there truly is a feline predator out there.
He said police know of no one who owns tigers in the area and that it is illegal to do so.
A man called police about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, reporting he saw a tiger walking near the south end of Oyster Creek in the 4200 block of Texas 332.
“We’re basically on the lookout and will respond if something comes up,” said Tom Harvey, spokesman for Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Harvey said wardens have yet to find any reliable information indicating a tiger is indeed milling about the banks of Oyster Creek.