Carole Baskin says she is “extremely worried” for residents of a Houston suburb and the tiger seen wandering the area after its keeper was arrested.
Ms Baskin, of the popular Netflix series Tiger King, said to CNN she was “extremely worried about what happens with this tiger and the people around it”, in an interview on Wednesday.
“Because the people who were involved in buying, and selling, and owning, and transporting this tiger have proven that they are reckless individuals with no concern for the people around them, or for the animal involved,” said Ms Baskin.
The Tiger King star added: “No tiger belongs in a backyard or basement”.
Authorities arrested a 26-year-old individual allegedly keeping the tiger, Victor Hugo Cuevas, hours after an initial confrontation in a suburb of Houston on Sunday.
A resident caught the incident on film and alerted authorities to a tiger on the loose. As CNN reported, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy then arrived, aiming a firearm at the tiger.
Mr Cuevas, who was free on bail after facing a murder charge, then appeared and allegedly forced the tiger into the back of a van, with authorities giving chase.
Authorities eventually arrested him in the early hours of the morning, but admitted that the whereabouts of the tiger were still unknown.
Ms Baskin added to CNN: “I was so impressed with the deputy that showed up on the scene because he did exactly the right thing, and he showed amazing restraint by not shooting that tiger and not shooting that tiger, not emptying that gun into the tiger.”
“He kept eye contact, he backed away slowly,” Ms Baskin, alternatively know as ‘The Mother Theresa of tigers’, continued. “A tiger, if you look down, if you turned, if that neighbour had run back to his door, that just triggers its instinct to kill.”