View Single Post
Old 10-06-03, 05:25 PM   #26 (permalink)
Edwin's Avatar
Join Date: Jul-2002
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,355
No more city living for this cat.

A 325-pound tiger that grew up in Harlem arrived at his new home in a pastoral part of northeast Ohio last night, about 24 hours after police carefully removed him from a fifth-floor Manhatten apartment.

An informal network of animal rescuers found him a home in Ohio.

Lorain County animal trainer and rescuer Sam Mazzola yesterday hauled the caged tiger from New York to Berlin Center, in Mahoning County.

Mazzola said the cat will stay at Noah's Lost Ark, a sanctuary for abused or unwanted exotic animals, at least during a 30-day quarantine in which handlers will try to get him acquainted with the outdoors and with other tigers.

"We need to let it get accustomed to grass instead of four walls and glass," Mazzola said. "It's going to be quite an adjustment."

The events that eventually landed the tiger in Ohio began Friday when police in New York received a report that the tiger's owner, Antoine Yates, 31, had been bitten by a dog. Anonymous callers later said Yates had been attacked by a large wild animal.

Police rappelled down the outside of the apartment building, broke a window and shot the tiger with two darts that knocked him out. They cut a hole in the apartment's door and inserted a camera that tracked the tiger's movements until he passed out, Mazzola said.

Once inside, police also discovered a 5-foot long alligator. The alligator also came to Ohio with Mazzola and will temporarily stay at Mazzola's World Animal Studios in Columbia Township.

Both gator and tiger appeared to be in good health, said Larry Wallach of New York, an officer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Wallach called Mazzola for help in finding homes for the animals.

Wallach and Mazzola praised police for taking the time to capture the animals rather than killing them.

Wallach estimated that the tiger - apparently a Siberian-Bengal mix - weighs 325 pounds. He said the tiger was de-clawed but dangerous.

"When the tiger growls and slams its head and paws against the cage, that's a bad thing," Wallach said.

Mazzola said the alligator will eventually go to a friend in Indiana who already takes care of several alligators.

People might get a chance to see the famous city-raised tiger when World Animal Studios sets up a mini-zoo in the Midway Mall in Elyria this winter, Mazzola said. That will depend on how quickly the tiger adjusts to his new life.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Edwin is offline