Tiger found dead near Dallas freeway probably a pet
DALLAS — A veterinarian at the Dallas Zoo performed a necropsy Thursday on a female tiger found shot to death near an apartment complex, a zoo official said.
The tiger did not belong to the zoo and was believed to have been someone's pet. It was found Christmas Day in a vacant lot near a busy interstate and an apartment complex, said zoo spokeswoman Susan Eckert.
The Department of Agriculture is investigating, Eckert said.
An unidentified caller phoned a city hotline on Christmas Day about a dead animal, Eckert said. A sanitation crew that arrived to clean it up found a full-grown tiger under a blue tarp.
"They knew this wasn't a normal thing to find along the road, so they delivered it to the zoo," Eckert said.
Zoo veterinarian Dr. Thomas Alvarado performed a necropsy, an autopsy for animals. He found five gunshot wounds, including one in the head and one in the thorax.
The tiger was nearly 6 feet long and weighed about 180 pounds. Zoo officials believe it is a Bengal tiger and was "fairly young," Eckert said. It appeared to have been in good health before being shot, although it hadn't eaten in about a day.
The tiger had all its teeth. Zoo officials said they believe it was someone's pet because it was declawed and had a collar around its neck. It also had a leash that appeared to be a bicycle chain, Eckert said.
The zoo will store the tiger's body until federal officials decide what to do with it, Eckert said.
Dead tiger found in Dallas
09:09 PM CST on Thursday, December 27, 2007