Bengal tiger seized in Tijuana after falling from terrace

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, Mexican federal environmental inspectors seized a Bengal tiger in Tijuana after it fell from the third-floor terrace of a residence onto a neighbor’s property.

The tiger is a nine-month-old female, according to the federal environmental watchdog agency, known as PROFEPA. Inspectors tracked down its owner after being alerted by a call to Tijuana’s command and control center.

The private residence where it was being kept “did not have a fence or proper facilities” for the animal’s safekeeping, according to a statement from PROFEPA’S central office in Mexico City.

The animal’s owner presented inspectors with an original copy of the receipt for its purchase. But the owner failed to comply with an obligation to register the tiger with the Baja California Environmental Protection Secretariat, according to the statement. The owner also failed to show that the animal had received proper veterinary care, including vaccines, and de-worming.

At first sight, the animal appeared to be in good health, according to the federal agency. Still, it needed to be “thoroughly evaluated by a specialist….to determine its state of health,” the statement said.

The tiger was taken for safekeeping to the municipal zoo in Mexicali, Baja California’s state capital.

Though the most numerous of the tiger subspecies, the Bengal tiger is considered endangered, with some 2,500 individuals currently surviving in the wild, mostly on the Indian subcontinent, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Illegal demand for the tigers as “status symbols, decorative items and folk cures has increased dramatically,” according to the fund.

This month’s seizure comes months after PROFEPA inspectors confiscated a four-month-old male Bengal tiger in Tijuana earlier this year after receiving an anonymous report that the owner had been walking the animal on a leash. The animal was found to be in good health and taken to the Tijuana zoo.

by Sandra Dibble for the San Diego Union Tribune


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