ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Bengal tiger cub found by Albuquerque police in a dog crate last month now has a new home in Colorado.
Officials at the ABQ BioPark Zoo, where the 4-month-old cub has been receiving care, told the Albuquerque Journal that he was transferred to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado.
Caretakers there have named him Duke after Albuquerque’s nickname of Duke City. Albuquerque police officers served search warrants Jan. 10 on two residences in response to tips that a tiger was being illegally held at one of them.
Authorities spotted a blood trail and followed it to an unlocked trailer and that’s where the tiger was found.
New Mexico bans residents from keeping tigers as pets and federal law now prohibits private owners from keeping tigers as pets or for breeding purposes.
BioPark Zoo officials said the cub could not stay with them because he was too “people-oriented.” Also, he will eventually grow to be 400 pounds with long claws that can easily kill.
He had to undergo a 30-day quarantine period there. During that time, the zoo worked with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to find the tiger a permanent home.
Because his genetic lineage was unknown, the animal was ineligible for a breeding program or zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.