Lions and Tigers and Bears...oh my.


October 5, 2003, 01:51 PM
And I TOLD my wife that the .416 Rigby was a wise investment.... tigers in New York.... I'm waiting for Cape Buffalo in San Francisco.

Be prepared people; it looks like the critters are moving in. First Las Vegas, now New York.

Story link (

New York -- To the sounds of enormous jungle roars, a police sniper rappelled down the side of a Harlem apartment building Saturday and fired tranquilizer darts through an open fifth-floor window to subdue -- seat belts, please -- a 350- pound Bengal tiger.

The daring, and creative, bit of sharpshooting helped end an episode in which the New York Police Department, unaccustomed to bagging big game, nonetheless managed to sedate the beast. Officials planned to send the tiger, temporarily being held at the Center for Animal Care and Control on 110th Street, to a conservancy in Ohio.

What the tiger, along with a 4- to 5-foot reptile called a caiman, was doing inside a cluttered apartment in the Drew Hamilton Houses at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and 141st Street remained a mystery Saturday.

In a news conference at the scene, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said the police became involved in the case on Wednesday when the apartment's resident, Antoine Yates, called to say he had been bitten by a pit bull. When the police went to investigate, Kelly said, Yates met them in the lobby. He went to Harlem Hospital with bites to his right arm and leg.

On Thursday, the police got an anonymous tip saying a wild animal was somewhere in the city. On Friday, another call directed them to the exact address. On Friday night, the police found no one home, but came across a neighbor who complained of large amounts of urine and a strong smell coming through the ceiling, Kelly said. The neighbor said her daughter had seen the tiger.

On Saturday, the tiger's existence was confirmed after a hole was cut in the apartment door.

Kelly said Yates checked out of the hospital early Saturday morning and was being sought by the police.

"This is an only-in-New-York story," Kelly said.

Getting to the tiger, a male, was no simple task. From an apartment on the fourth floor, the police first eased a pole-mounted camera out the window to conduct surveillance on him. Meanwhile, on the seventh floor, they prepared a team to rappel down so they would have a clearer view when firing tranquilizer darts to subdue him.

The police also called in animal experts, including Dr. Robert Cook, head veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo, and Larry Wallach, a special investigator for wildlife for the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Wallach, who said he once wrestled a cougar off the streets of Queens, said he was particularly concerned about the tiger, which he estimated to be about 3 or 4 years old.

"God forbid that cat got out on the loose," he said.

It was shortly before 4:30 p.m. when the police sniper, Officer Martin Duffy, armed with a dart gun and a rifle with live ammunition, began to rappel toward the window. He fired one dart a few minutes later, which drew a knee- shaking roar from inside the apartment.

After a few more minutes it was determined that the tiger had been hit, the police said, but was not yet fully sedated. So the sniper fired another dart.

If you enjoyed reading about "Lions and Tigers and Bears...oh my." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
October 5, 2003, 02:10 PM
And the grabbers say we don't need weapons in these modern "civilised" times.


4v50 Gary
October 5, 2003, 02:16 PM
Now that must be a sniper first! Been told that the National Zoo in Washington has a modest arsenal in case Jumbo or Tony go beserk (and have to be tranquilized or put down).

October 5, 2003, 02:23 PM
Does that sniper get the mandatory days off for being involved in a "police shooting"?

Not to hijack this but I just read a book titled "Shikar" about a Bengal tiger that escapes from a semi-legal animal show are starts eating people in rural Georgia. Not great but interesting premise and story.

El Tejon
October 5, 2003, 02:47 PM
Make it stop!!!:eek:

October 5, 2003, 02:48 PM
Maybe I should change my CCW to a howdah pistol. Say, 16-bore or so?

Dave Markowitz
October 5, 2003, 06:54 PM
I saw a story about this on Fox news this morning. Aside from the tiger, this bozo also had a 200+ pound cayman (crocodilian) in his apartment!

Some people have more money than brains.

October 5, 2003, 08:08 PM
The police also called in animal experts, including Dr. Robert Cook, head veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo, and Larry Wallach, a special investigator for wildlife for the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. .

why would they call the SPCA blowhards? they're hardly experts in anything but whining about the consumption of beef...

October 5, 2003, 08:10 PM
Can you train a tiger to use a litterbox? I'd hate to think about what that apartment (no, the whole freaking BUILDING) would've smelled like...:scrutiny:

Standing Wolf
October 5, 2003, 09:14 PM
Some people have more money than brains.

Unfortunately, it was welfare housing, so I'm sure we, the people paid for the tiger, the food, the rent, and all the rest of it with our tax dollars.

October 5, 2003, 09:37 PM
I can see it now. The scene is the Home For Retired Police Officers. The year is 2043. In the lounge area, hoverchairs jostle each other, gliding a few inches over the floor. From a cluster of chairs in the middle of the room, Officer Clancy's voice can be heard...

Oh, Harry, not THAT old story again! I don't care HOW many times you tell it, you're still an old blowhard! There's no way you ever shot a tiger in an apartment in New York City!


So, guys, what's the ultimate tiger defense round? Clearly this officer was undergunned - he didn't get a one shot stop. He was probably using one of those wimpy 9mm darts. Oh, I know in THEORY one dart is all you need, but the real world is another matter.

Does Fackler have any data on tranquilzer darts?


October 6, 2003, 12:32 AM
Just think about it! You could let it out at night with no worries about it's being eaten by dogs;(just the other way around:evil: )

According to Mrs. Adamson in "Born Free", a lioness makes an EXCELLENT bird dog; (no disputes over whose bird that was)

and (also according to Mrs. A) you might get a shooting buddy! (She said she had to warn Elsa off picking up her rifle and playing with it: obviously a way to kill at a distance would appeal to any intelligent predator!)

October 6, 2003, 08:52 AM
Big meow!

I saw the story on Fox also. What really got me laughing was the attitude of onw of the neighbors, idjit woman, who was going on about how much she trusted 'Antoine, he wouldn't put us in no danger . . .that's why he kept it a secret ':rolleyes: He had quite a menagerie, besides the big kitty and cayman, he also had snakes and a rottie, fed teh tiger rats (no shortage of them in NYC) Smell much?

Seems that hwen he went to the hospital for teh 'pitbull' bite, teh Docs took one look and said "riiiiiiight" and called teh constabulary.

I wonder about what part of the 'wild' in wild animals these gomers don't get.

October 7, 2003, 08:25 AM
There's a man around here whose family has run a wild-animal park and zoo for about 45 years. When he was growing up I believe he had a "pet" leopard sharing his bed and board. His schoolteachers had to get used to some fairly frequent absences and very interesting notes from Mom, like "Please excuse my boy's absence last week; Janie the leopard got a little excited and tried to bite his arm off."

October 9, 2003, 07:43 AM
of the burglar who breaks into a house with a Bengal Tiger?
I heard there is a Siberian Tiger in Northern California
that escaped from a Marijuana Farm!
Also it seems that the people in the building did know he had the Tiger!
The idiots knew the Tiger was there and didn't think to tell???
and little kids running all over???

If you enjoyed reading about "Lions and Tigers and Bears...oh my." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!