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APD Finds Exotic Bengal Tiger Cub During Shooting Scene Investigation

By: ABQ RAW staff

POSTED: 1/10/2023 @ 9:30PM


This Bengal tiger cub was located inside an abandoned mobile home in SE Albuquerque

APD found a Bengal Tiger cub in a home of a shooting victim.


SE Albuquerque - On Tuesday, January 10, 2023 Albuquerque Police Officers were alerted to shots fired at 304 Indiana Street S.E. at approximately 2:15p.m. from ShotSpotter. While on the way, someone at the Allsups reported someone had been shot outside the business. Upon arrival, officers located an individual with a gunshot wound to the leg. The person had been shot by a stray bullet from a shootout across the street at a trailer park located at 6901 Zuni Rd SE.

While one scene, an additional gunshot was heard coming from the trailer park just to the North of the Allsups. Officers quickly began to move towards the gunfire and located Kevin Gerardo Vargas Mercado who was armed with a semiautomatic handgun with an extended magazine. Mercado was immediately taken into custody without incident.


Officers then began to follow a trail of blood leading to a trailer in the area. As they approached the trailer, the door was unlocked and the blood trail led inside. Officers made entry to attempt to render aide to anyone who may have been wounded, but did not locate anyone and have yet to locate the bleeding individual.

While inside the trailer looking for a possible second shooting victim, Officers were surprised to instead find a Bengal tiger cub inside a dog crate.


The Gun Violence Reduction Unit was called out to assist and attained a search warrant for the residence in order to retrieve the tiger cub. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish was contacted and took custody of the tiger.


According to National Geographic, Bengal tigers live in India and are sometimes called Indian tigers. They are the most common tiger and number about half of all wild tigers. A full grown Bengal tiger can grow to 6 feet tall, and weigh between 250 to 500 pounds.


This is the second time in less than a year a tiger has been part of a criminal investigation. Late last year NM Game and Fish served a search warrant trying to locate a tiger in Albuquerque.


According to state laws, New Mexico does not have a specific law about owning an exotic feline but municipalities may not allow them.


It is unknown if anyone will come forward to claim the tiger.

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