They won't be trifled with anymore. Three tigers have made clear that they are not OK with being held captive in zoo's and circuses, let alone in American apartments.
Since Saturday, New Yorker Antione Yates (31) has lost his Ming, a twenty months old tiger. His neighbours in the Harlem district filed in complaints about the stench of urine in their apartment complex. A team of police, employees of the ASPCA and employees of the zoo went into the apartment and discovered the over 28 stone tiger. Ming also had a roommate: a more than 3 feet cayman. The animals have been brought to a shelter.
The attention of owner Yates was also drawn to the fact that keeping a tiger in an apartment is not a normal thing to do by tiger Ming himself. Ming gave his owner hell on Wednesday. Yates had been lying about his injuries at the local hospital ('pit-bull attack'), fled to Philadelphia to get treated and was arrested there on Monday. He has been brought before the law last Tuesday.
Limping and with one arm in a sling he appeared before the judge and told what had happened between him and his pet. Yates thought that Ming had been a bit lonely. That's why he played a self invented game of 'buddy-buddy' with him. Suddenly, Shadow, a little stray cat that Yates brought home recently, caught the attention of Ming. Ming got a hungry look in his eyes and attacked. In his attempt to save the kitten out of the big cats' claws, Yates was caught himself. 'I don't blame Ming', he told the judge who released him until his trial in December. 'My heart is broken, I miss him so much. He's like my brother, my best friend, my only friend for that matter.' Sad, but the tiger is the real victim.
Just like Sunday in Serbia, where a tigress seemed to be released from her cage at the Belgrade zoo. A cage cleaner had left a door open and the grateful animal explored freedom, but was smack shot dead. Tiger Montecore is still alive, but has been placed in quarantine. He ruined the birthday of the 59-year old Roy Horn. Since 1959, the German takes care of a tiger-act together with Siegfried Fischbacher. Siegried&Roy have a lifetime contract with the hotel-casino The Mirage in Las Vegas. Last Friday Roy Horn's life almost ended preliminary: the white tiger bit him in the neck during the show. He lost a lot of blood and is still in the hospital in critical condition. It's a clear message: tigers want freedom.

Source: Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant DaginDaguit, 9th of October 2003