I’m sure many of you have read or seen stories in the last couple of weeks about a real Bengal tiger cub that was found in a mobile home in Albuquerque during a drug investigation.
Although cute and cuddly for now, the wild animal will need to be placed somewhere safer and more appropriate as it grows into its natural wild animal persona.
When first discovered by Albuquerque police, the New Mexico Game and Fish Department was contacted about keeping the cub. As far as I know, there are no naturally occurring tigers in New Mexico, so it’s doubtful that the Game and Fish department had a lot of expertise in taking care of such an animal.
The next call was made to the Albuquerque Zoo, which had a temporary place for the cub.
But when asked if it could be placed permanently at the Albuquerque Zoo or some other zoo, officials at that facility said that “because the genetic lineage of the animal is unknown, it will not be placed in a zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.”
That makes it sound like it might be easier for the critter to get into Harvard Law School than to find a safe place to live in one of hundreds of zoos across the United States.
There is an addendum to the story. Albuquerque police were tipped off about a tiger living in an apartment in the city last summer but could never find it. Based on the information they had at that time, police do not feel the cat found earlier this month is the same animal. That means, Albuquerque residents, that a tiger may still be lurking around your neighborhood.
In the meantime, I hope the still missing tiger is working on perfecting its genetic lineage record, its resume and other credentials so that it might have an easier time getting into an “accredited” zoo if and when it is captured.