Man bitten after housing tiger
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK -- A tiger and an alligator found in a Manhattan apartment were sent to wildlife sanctuaries in Ohio and Indiana yesterday while their owner recovered from bite wounds inflicted by the more than 400-pound cat.
Police said Antoine Yates, 31, would face reckless endangerment charges after he gets out of a hospital in Philadelphia, where he fled. He was listed in good condition.
Yates said the tiger grabbed him and "tore open my whole leg down to the bone." Yates told Philadelphia TV station KYW that he was "trying to create a Garden of Eden, something that this world lacks."
A team of animal control officers, police and Bronx Zoo workers removed the animals from Yates' fifth-floor apartment in a Harlem housing project Saturday.
Wes Artope, director of the city's animal shelters, said the tiger had been kept in the apartment since he was a 6-week-old cub. The 20-month-old tiger weighs at least 425 pounds, Artope said.
The tiger went to Noah's Lost Ark in Berlin Center, Ohio, a licensed preserve for exotic animals. The facility isn't equipped for reptiles, director Ellen Whitehouse said yesterday, so the 5-foot-long alligator went on to an Indiana sanctuary.
It will take the cat some time to adjust to seeing trees and birds, Whitehouse said, adding, "I'd love to see what the inside of the house looked like."