Mike Tyson's pet white Bengal tiger tried to eat his neighbor's dogs!

When Mike Tyson was released from prison in 1995 after a three-year stretch, he was talked into buying a white Bengal tiger for around $65,000. In all he owned three white Bengal tigers over a period of time. He lived in Las Vegas at the time in between two houses and in one was a businessman who kept dogs.

One day he was walking his Bengal tiger on a leash like a pet and the tiger saw the dogs. It jumped up onto his neighbour's property's wall to attack the dogs to eat them. The owner of the property saw this and Mike Tyson managed to pull the tiger down. Good old Mike used his innate strength to good effect.

Mike Tyson with his pet tiger in 1989
Mike Tyson with at pet white Bengal tiger in 1989. Credit: Getty - Contributor

It seems that the property owner telephoned the ASPCA about it and they came around to Mike Tyson's home and told him that he was not allowed to keep the tiger in captivity. Clearly in Las Vegas you need a licence to keep a tiger. That isn't the case across the whole of the USA but it probably is in most states.

So, he lost his tiger (and I guess the $65k!) and he telephoned his manager Shelley Finkel and asked him how the ASPCA found out about it. Shelley said: "How do you think they found out? Your neighbour sees him coming over the wall to eat his dog. How do you think they found out!"

I can think of at least two things which are terribly wrong about this story. Firstly, white Bengal tigers are horrible inbred because the entire world stock of white tigers come from one male cub, Mohan, whose parents were killed by hunters. With a foundation stock of one there is bound to be heavy inbreeding which is the case. It causes anatomical deformities in many white tigers which people don't hear about.

This is an example of the effect of inbred white tigers:

Deformed inbred white tiger
Image: MikeB.

That's the first thing to mention and the second thing is the absolute carelessness and idiocy of anyone who thinks that they can turn a Bengal tiger into a pet no matter how docile they might be. It looks as if Mike Tyson simply bought the tiger and stuck it in his home without any facilities or any training. Bizarre, and it was almost bound to end up in disaster.

Fortunately, the ASPCA put him straight and I guess took the tiger off him or they called wildlife services to seize it. It probably ended up in another zoo where they are very popular because they look very glamorous but of course most of the visitors have no idea that they are inbred to the extent that I mention.

Source for above: The Sun newspaper online.

How Mike Tyson acquired his tigers.

It's reported that Tyson bought two tigers while he was in prison. His sentence was coming to an end which I recall was because of a conviction rape. A friend of his offered to purchase a tiger through a third-party. Mike Tyson takes up the story:

“I was in jail, talking to one of my friends who I bought exotic cars from. He told me that a friend of his owed him money. And he said, ‘If you don’t pay me money, I’ll take some of these cars and trade them for some animals.’ I said, ‘What kind of animals?’ He said, ‘Horses and stuff. Mike, they also have some nice tigers and lions. If you had one of those, that would be great,’” he explained. ‘I asked, ‘Why don’t you order me a pair? I’ll be out in a couple of months. So, when I got out, I came home and I had two cubs."

It was as straightforward as that and you wonder if there was any consideration for the legality of it and in terms of any preparation or knowledge that he should acquire beforehand. It appears that these factors were entirely overlooked. He no longer has big cats at home. Perhaps he has checked out the legalities at last.

Mike Tyson is known to be a pigeon fancier and he has a dog as well. He likes animals it seems. I can't verify the veracity of this story. It is a good one though.

Source for the above: as.com.


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