Tigers may be endangered in Asia, but they're backyard pets in Texas

File photo.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Caption
File photo. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Credit: Justin Sullivan

Credit: Justin Sullivan

By some estimates, a couple thousand tigers live in Texas, many in backyards and most not registered with the state. It's believed to be the second-largest population of the big cats in the world behind India.

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Texas allows ownership of exotic pets and requires owners to register their animals with the state, but as of February only 50 tigers were recorded, said Chris Van Deusen, spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Animal rights advocates say many tigers go unregistered because county enforcement of the registration rules is often lax.