2 tigers found in Phoenix, Gilbert backyards


by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Mike Watkiss & Karen Brown

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 2:00 PM

PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish Department has seized two tigers that were found in Phoenix and Gilbert neighborhoods.

At the end of December, the Arizona Game and Fish Department received reports about a man posting pictures of himself with his two pet tigers on a social media site, according to spokesman Randy Babb.

Game and Fish officials began investigating and a couple of days later they received a report of a tiger in a backyard in Phoenix. Babb said the person had heard roaring in a neighbor's yard.

"We went in and investigated and sure enough, there was a 200-pound tiger in somebody's backyard," Babb said.

While Game and Fish officers were at that location, they learned of a possible location of the second tiger. They were able to locate the animal in a Gilbert neighborhood.

Babb said the tigers are about 8 months old, weigh 200 pounds and appear to be in good health. One is gold and one is white. The white tiger was being kept in a big dog kennel.

Babb did not know the exact address where either tiger was found.

Laws vary from state to state, but Arizona prohibits the possession of all wild carnivores.

"This is a public safety issue," Babb said. "[A] tiger's not the kind of animal anybody should keep in someone's backyard. They're potentially dangerous animals. They're the largest cat in the world and this isn't something that amateurs should be keeping or have in a neighborhood where it could potentially cause problems."

Babb said the tigers will make their new home at Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde.

The owner, who has not been found, could receive a citation from the Arizona Game and Fish Department.