MURCHISON, Texas (KETK) — A tiger that was found as a cub by Houston authorities in May 2021, is marking his one year anniversary at an East Texas animal sanctuary.

India was allegedly kept as a pet at a Houston residence prior to his rescue after being found in a neighborhood.

When India arrived at Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, he was a 134 pound, nine-month-old cub. He is now 251 pounds and will turn two-years-old in August.

The Humane Society said that India has overcome obstacles that were caused as a result of him being a pet and that when he first arrived at the sanctuary, he was used to close human interaction and did not want to be left alone.

The staff started doing social visits with India by sitting outside of his closure for short periods of time throughout the day. The visits became fewer each day and he eventually started to adjust and become more independent.

India’s care team noticed upon his arrival that his back legs were tired and weak after his first spurts of excitement running around and exploring his new home. The release stated that his back legs did not develop properly as a pet in a house because he was not able to run at full speed of jump. The Humane Society said that over time, he was able to get stronger and run for longer intervals.

“Once India developed more confidence, independence and physical strength, his natural behaviors and wild instincts kicked in. He is thriving and happy… We are looking forward to watching India mature and continuing to enjoy his life here, where he will be properly cared for and never have to worry again,” said Noelle Almrud, senior director at Black Beauty Ranch.

Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, stressed the importance of not keeping wild animals as pets.

“Forcing animals like India to be treated as a ‘pet’ is inhumane and a serious public safety risk—no matter how ‘cute’ or ‘tame’ the animal may seem,” said Block.