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Found Bengal Tiger Cub Now Living at ABQ BioPark

By: ABQ RAW staff

POSTED: 01/11/2023 @ 4:45PM

Bengal Tiger cub found after a shoot out in SE Albuquerque is now being relocated to ABQ BioPark.


Albuquerque - Writers from Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad could have not written a better script for an Albuquerque crime sequence of events than what has happened in the last 24 hours.



Yesterday, APD was dispatched to a shoot out in the War Zone of Albuquerque across the street from our beloved chimichanga go to place. Officers found a blood trail leading to a mobile home trailer across the street from Allsups. When officers went inside home to investigate the blood trail they found a Bengal Tiger cub in a plastic animal crate.


video of the tiger in custody of game and fish

The New Mexico Game and Fish Department was requested by APD to remove the Bengal tiger from the residence. This was the second incident involving a Bengal tiger found in ABQ. The first incident was in 2022 when NM Game and Fish served a search warrant to try to find a Bengal tiger but found an alligator instead. During yesterday's investigation, NM Game and Fish determined it was a different Bengal tiger than the one they were previously searching for. The tiger confiscated Tuesday is only a few months old and weighed only 20 pounds. The other one would be over a year old and closer to 80 lbs by now.


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


NM Game and Fish took the Bengal tiger to the City of Albuquerque Biopark for temporary housing and they said it was examined by veterinarians and determined to be in good health. The tiger will reside in its temporary home at the BioPark until an investigation is completed and a permanent facility is located.


On a national level, in December 2022, the “Captive Wildlife Safety Act”—also known as the “Big Cat Public Safety Act”—was amended into the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981, effectively banning future movement, sale, or possession of prohibited wildlife species, especially large cats, as a response to these issues. In New Mexico, it has long been illegal to import or possess most wildlife and exotic species without a proper permit. As a Group IV prohibited species, tigers may only be possessed by a permitted zoo in New Mexico. The general public is prohibited from possessing a tiger and most other exotic species for any reason. State regulations can be found on our website under “Importation Permits”-“Information.”


The department’s director, Michael Sloane, has authorized rewards of up to $1,000 through the Department’s Operation Game Thief program for anyone providing information about individuals illegally possessing tigers and other endangered species that lead to charges being filed in court. This is the largest reward opportunity ever offered through the program. “We feel that it is important to take exceptional action in response to exceptional circumstances that threaten public safety and the welfare of these animals,” Sloane said. Similar rewards are available for reporting poaching or other wildlife-related illegal activities. Those with information should immediately call Operation Game Thief at 800-432-4263 or file a report online.

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