NM Police Respond To Shooting, Shocked To Find Tiger In Home
Police officers in New Mexico were responding to a shooting and found a furry surprise inside the home. Last week, Albuquerque officers responded to a call about shots fired near Indiana Street in Southeast Albuquerque. Responding officers also received a report of shots fired outside local convenience store Allsups, where they found a man with a gunshot wound to the leg, according to a Facebook post by Albuquerque Police Department.
Officers followed the sound of additional gunshots to a mobile home and found a suspect with a semiautomatic handgun with an extended magazine. The suspect, Kevin Gerardo Vargas Mercado, was taken into custody and officers followed a trail of blood to another trailer in the area. Officers entered the trailer in an attempt to render aide to anyone injured inside. Inside that trailer, officers found no persons but did find a small dog kennel with a Bengal tiger cub inside.
The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish was called in and took custody of the tiger. According to an update on Facebook, the tiger cub was taken to the Albuquerque BioPark to be examined by veterinarians and was found to be in good health. Officials believe the tiger to be a few months old and weighed about 20 pounds. The tiger cub will stay at the BioPark until the investigation is complete and a permanent home can be found.
In the State of New Mexico, tigers can only be owned by a permitted zoo, not private homeowners.