Brown, owner of Zootastic near Lake Norman, told WSOC-TV the animal was just tired from playing and was not sedated.
He said the tiger weighed less than 50 pounds and he believes both the animal and the public were safe.
“He was fine. He was good. He was on a leash. I’m right there with him. We would not let people touch them,” said Brown.
WSOC-TV contacted the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It sent part of its regulations that prohibit the "exhibition of such animals without sufficient distance and/or barriers between the animals and the viewing public to assure the safety of the public and the animals."