440lb male Bengal tiger seen roaming Mexico street is seized


Male Bengal tiger weighing 440lbs who was seen roaming down street in suburban Mexico neighborhood had its claws removed, authorities say as they seize the animal from owner

  • Mexican authorities confiscated a 440lb male Bengal on Wednesday
  • The animal was seized from its owner’s property after it was spotted roaming on a street in Tecuala, Nayarit on Tuesday
  • The tiger was found to be in good health and taken away from his owner who failed to provide proof of legal ownership
  • The possession of wildlife animals in allowed in Mexico as long as the  Federal Attorney General’s Office for Environmental Protection issues a permit
  • Toluca Deputy Melissa Vargas told DailyMail.com she is waiting on the Senate to return from recess and approve a bill that outlaws wildlife animal ownership
  • Vargas introduced the measure before the Chamber of Deputies in late April and says wildlife animals are easily available for purchase in the internet

A male Bengal tiger who stunned residents as it roamed through a street has been seized by authorities in the western Mexico state of Nayarit.

The 440lb tiger was confiscated from its owner on Wednesday, a day after it was filmed  walking down a sidewalk in the city of Tecuala.

The Federal Attorney General’s Office for Environmental Protection dispatched agents who visited the property where the Bengal was kept and removed it because the owner was unable to show proof that the animal was legally owned.

The Bengal was missing its claws but its fangs were intact, and it was found to be ‘in good health and without apparent physical injuries.’ 

‘The Attorney General’s Office carried out the pertinent steps to locate the specimen and carry out the appropriate actions within the framework of its powers,’ the Federal Attorney General’s Office for Environmental Protection said in a statement.

Federal Attorney General's Office for Environmental Protection on Wednesday was able to locate a tiger that seen on a viral video wandering the streets of the Mexican state of Nayarit and seized the wild cat because the owner failed to show a legal permit that allowed the possession of the feline

Federal Attorney General’s Office for Environmental Protection on Wednesday was able to locate a tiger that seen on a viral video wandering the streets of the Mexican state of Nayarit and seized the wild cat because the owner failed to show a legal permit that allowed the possession of the feline

The 400-pound male Bengal stunned residents in the western city of Tecuala on Tuesday morning when it was spotted walking through the street. Authorities visited the property where the animal was being held and seized it

The 400-pound male Bengal stunned residents in the western city of Tecuala on Tuesday morning when it was spotted walking through the street. Authorities visited the property where the animal was being held and seized it

The removal of the wild cat comes following the death of José de Jesús, 23, on Tuesday after the ranch worker had his left arm bitten by the Bengal he was taking care of.

De Jesús was petting the tiger and feeding it when the animal attacked him. He refused to have both his arms, which had been mauled, amputated and later suffered a heart attack. 

While the ownership of wildlife animals is legal in Mexico with a permit provided by the Federal Attorney General’s Office for Environmental Protection, the Chamber of Deputies passed a bill on April 29 that outlaws purchasing such animals as pets. 

They can be bought online for as little as $25. 

Toluca Deputy Melissa Vargas, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, told DailyMail.com that the measure was met with a resounding bipartisan support, receiving 463 to 0 votes with one abstention.

The Senate has yet to vote on the bill because Congress is currently in recess. But Vargas hopes it will be presented on the floor when senators return to Mexico City.  

The male Bengal weighs 400 pounds and is six feet long. He was found to be in good health

The male Bengal weighs 400 pounds and is six feet long. He was found to be in good health

Ownership of wildlife animals is currently permitted in Mexico, but the Chambers of Deputies passed a bill on April 29 that would eventually ban the ownership of wild cats, which normally are sold on social media for anywhere between $25 to $35, according to Toluca Deputy Melissa Vargas

Ownership of wildlife animals is currently permitted in Mexico, but the Chambers of Deputies passed a bill on April 29 that would eventually ban the ownership of wild cats, which normally are sold on social media for anywhere between $25 to $35, according to Toluca Deputy Melissa Vargas

A video of the incident shows a woman hastily walking away from the male Bengal as she films it wandering down a sidewalk in Tecuala, a town about 300 miles south west of Sinaloa with a population of more than 40,000 people, on Tuesday

A video of the incident shows a woman hastily walking away from the male Bengal as she films it wandering down a sidewalk in Tecuala, a town about 300 miles south west of Sinaloa with a population of more than 40,000 people, on Tuesday 

Vargas said the bill also targets criminal organizations that have enriched themselves through the illicit businesses of smuggling drugs and trafficking people and are now involved in bringing wild animals to Mexico that can be found in the black market for as little as $25.

The lawmaker estimates that there are more Bengals in the states of Chihuahua, Durango and Sinaloa – known as the ‘Golden Triangle’ due to the presence of drug cartels – than all of the ones who are roaming freely in India.

‘At the start the pandemic, animal trafficking began to increase, especially large wild cats, Bengal tigers, panthers, that is, animals that should be in the wild,’ Vargas explained. ‘But through the internet it is very easy to get a lion cub, a tiger cub, because it has become a status fad, but more so with the growth of organized crime in Mexico, because many of these drug trafficking groups have these (animals) for security purposes or status.’ 

Mexican Congresswoman Melissa Vargas told DailyMail.com that she introduced legislation to ban the ownership of wildlife animals after an African lion cub - now named Kiro - was found wandering through the streets of Ecatepec in April. The animal had been beaten and had the claws and fangs removed by its owner

Mexican Congresswoman Melissa Vargas told DailyMail.com that she introduced legislation to ban the ownership of wildlife animals after an African lion cub – now named Kiro – was found wandering through the streets of Ecatepec in April. The animal had been beaten and had the claws and fangs removed by its owner

Vargas introduced the bill in April after firefighters found an African lion cub wandering on a street in the State of Mexico municipality of Ecatepec.

The lion, who was named Kiro had his claws removed, was missing his fangs, was not fed well and showed visible signs of physical abuse. 

Vargas said that at least eight out of 10 wildlife animals die during the process of being trafficked in Mexico and only two reached the adult stage.

She is not only worried about the dangers the these animals pose to the public, but also threats to the ecosystem once their owners decide they no longer can care after them and abandon them in forest areas.

‘(The bill) is a way to protect biodiversity and reduce animal trafficking,’ Vargas said.

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