Officers responding to reports of a shooting in southeast Albuquerque say they found a young Bengal tiger in a dog crate, but it’s not the same animal they’ve been looking for since last year. A trail of blood at the crime scene led officers to the exotic animal, CBS affiliate KRQE-TV reported.
New Mexico Department of Game and Fisheries officials said they have taken the tiger into care and transferred it to BioPark ABQ until an investigation is complete and a permanent home for the animal. can be found.
Zoo veterinarians examined the 20-pound cub and said he was in good health, KRQE-TV reported.
“He seems to be squeezing between people’s legs somewhere at the BioPark. Drinking water and doing things like tiger cubs,” Game and Fish spokesman Darren Vaughn told the station.
The department is asking for the public’s help in locating a young tiger who was taken last summer from an Albuquerque-area home where police say they found drugs, guns, money and a 3 foot alligator.
“The Department of Game and Fisheries suspects that the tiger confiscated on Tuesday is not the same one sought in the August 2022 search,” Field Operations Division Col. Tim Cimbal said.
Cimbal said the August tiger would be over a year old and likely weigh between 50 and 90 pounds now, while the tiger found this week is only a few months old and weighs 20 pounds.
Authorities issued search warrants at two residences in Albuquerque’s South Valley on Tuesday afternoon in response to reports that a tiger was illegally being held at one of the residences.
Police say a man was found in a mobile home with a gunshot wound to one of his legs that he may have been hit by a stray bullet.
Officers spotted a trail of blood and followed it to an unlocked trailer and that’s where the tiger was found inside the crate.
Laura Hagen, director of the Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement that New Mexico already prohibits residents from keeping tigers as pets and that federal law now prohibits private owners from keeping tigers as pets. pets or for breeding purposes.
“Big cats like the tiger found in Albuquerque are not pets. They are dangerous wild animals and they don’t belong in homes or dog cages,” Hagen said.
New Mexico Department of Game and Fisheries officials said they “noted a substantial increase in inquiries about permits to import or possess tigers associated with the practice on popular television shows.”
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