NEW YORK – A pet tiger rescued from a Manhattan apartment after biting its owner will have a new home at an Ohio sanctuary with plenty of grass, trees and birds.
An alligator also recovered from the apartment was to be sent to an Indiana preserve, while their owner recovered from wounds from the 400-pound cat.
Yates told reporters after his arrival that he had the animals in his apartment because he wanted "to show the whole world that we all can get along."
"It wasn't about he was a side show or a pet or nothing," Yates said of the tiger.
He said the tiger, which was "like my brother," had grabbed him and ripped the flesh on his leg down to the bone.
"My leg is not the problem," he said. "It's my heart."
A veterinarian examined the tiger Monday at Noah's Lost Ark preserve (search) in Berlin Center, Ohio, 15 miles west of Youngstown. The licensed facility takes abused and neglected exotic animals and warns that wild animals can't be tamed.
"We should just stop letting people buy them," preserve director Ellen Whitehouse said. "We shouldn't be breeding them in the United States."
A team of animal control officers, police and Bronx Zoo workers used a camera to track the animals in Yates' fifth-floor apartment in a Harlem housing project before tranquilizing and removing them Saturday.
Wes Artope, director of the city's animal shelters, said the tiger, an orange and white Siberian-Bengal mix, had been kept in the apartment since he was a 6-week-old cub. The 20-month-old tiger now weighs at least 425 pounds, Artope said.
The tiger and 5-foot alligator, both in good condition, were taken first to a local shelter, then to a Long Island animal sanctuary before authorities sought homes.
"Clearly this tiger should not have been in any place in New York City outside of a zoo," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday.