Bloodstains at a crime scene lead Arizona police to a young Bengal tiger in a dog cage

Bloodstains at a crime scene lead Arizona police to a young Bengal tiger in a dog cage

Bloodstains at a crime scene lead Arizona police to a young Bengal tiger in a dog cage

Police responding to reports of a shooting in southeast Albuquerque say they found a young Bengal tiger in a dog cage, 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 an exotic animal, CBS affiliate KRQE-TV reported.

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish officials said they had taken custody of the tiger and moved it to ABQ BioPark until an investigation was completed and a permanent home could be found for the animal.

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New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Conservation officers seized a young Bengal tiger confiscated by the Albuquerque Police Department on Tuesday.

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish


Veterinarians at the zoo checked the 20-pound cub and said it was in good health, KRQE-TV reported.

“It seems to be intertwined with people’s legs somewhere in the BioPark. He drinks water and does some tiger stuff,” Game and Fish spokesman Darren Vaughn told the station.

The department has asked the public for help in finding a young tiger that was kidnapped last summer from a home in the Albuquerque area where police reported finding drugs, guns, cash and a 3-foot alligator.

“The Department of Lease and Fish suspects that the tiger seized on Tuesday is not the same tiger that was sought during the August 2022 search,” said Col. Tim Cimbal of the Division of Field Operations.

Cimbal said the August tiger is over a year old and likely already weighs 50-90 pounds, while the tiger found this week is only a few months old and weighs 20 pounds.

Authorities issued search warrants for two residences in South Valley, Albuquerque, on Tuesday afternoon in response to indications that the tiger was illegally held at one residence.

Police said the man was found in the mobile home with a gunshot wound to one of his legs and may have been hit by a stray bullet.

Officers noticed a trail of blood and followed it to an open trailer where a tiger was found in a crate.

Laura Hagen, director of the Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement that New Mexico already bans residents from keeping tigers as pets, and federal law now prohibits private owners from keeping tigers as pets or for breeding purposes.

“Young big cats, like the tiger found in Albuquerque, are not pets. They are dangerous wild animals and should not be in homes or dog cages,” said Hagen.

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish officials said they had “reported a significant increase in inquiries about licenses to import or own tigers related to practices on popular TV shows.”


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