NEW YORK (AFP) – Police removed a 180-kilogram (400-pound) tiger from a New York apartment in a commando-style operation.
Authorities investigated the home, in a public housing complex in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, after a man checked into a nearby hospital seeking treatment for bite wounds he said came from a pit bull, officials said. But doctors determined the bites could not have come from a dog, prompting the man, identified as Antoine Yates, 37, to leave the hospital abruptly, yanking an IV out of his arm, police said.
Meanwhile, police and animal control officers drilled a hole in the door of the apartment and spotted the tiger inside. An animal control officer abseiled down the outside of the building with a tranquilizer gun and shot the tiger through an apartment window.
“I saw him eye to eye, to say the least,” said Emergency Service Unit cop Martin Duffy. “He charged twice and I shot him. He charged a last time and broke through the glass.”
Police removed the tranquilized animal, bound to a stretcher, about a half hour later. It was to be transported to a wildlife preserve in Ohio on Sunday after spending the night in an animal shelter
A three-foot cayman alligator was also removed from the five-bedroom apartment.
A second tiger, some cubs, two Rottweilers, rabbits and a tarantula also lived in the apartment, until some family members, including children, moved to Philadelphia in June, taking the animals with them, neighbors said.
The menagerie had been an open secret in the housing complex but animal control officers had not responded to resident’s complaints.
Yates was identified as the owner of the animal and apprehended at a hospital near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, police said.
“He just has a love for animals,” said his sister, Cynthia Yates. “There’s nothing wrong with that.”
Jeez, how big of an apartment did this freak have?