Mexican security forces rescue a tiger and a crocodile, drug cartel kept them as pets

Drug traffickers and their families often keep tigers and other animals as pets

Mexican security forces rescue a tiger and a crocodile, drug cartel kept them as pets
The 8-month-old tiger was kept inside a cage - Photo: Taken from Construcción de la Paz Guerrero Mesa de Coordinación
English 28/09/2020 10:44 Newsroom & Agencies Guerrero Arturo de Dios Palma/EL UNIVERSAL, AP Actualizada 10:52

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Security forces rescued a tiger and a crocodile that were kept in a house located in Tlalchapa, in the Tierra Caliente region. Authorities also seized drugs and weapons at the property that allegedly belongs to a drug cartel known as “La Familia Michoacana.”

In a statement, local authorities informed the state police, the National Guard, the army, and agents from the local prosecutor’s office rescued the 8-month-old tiger that was kept in a cage. 

Authorities took the tiger and crocodile to a local zoo for safekeeping. 

Drug traffickers and their families often keep tigers and other animals as pets in Mexico.

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Guerrero state police and soldiers also found a metal structure meant to hold a machine gun in the back of a pickup truck. Nearby they found a T-shirt with the name of “La Familia Michoacana” drug cartel and “Brothers Hurtado,” a local offshoot led by Johny and José Alfredo Hurtado Olascoaga.

In recent weeks, an unidentified woman came under fire after she took a tiger cub on a walk at a Mexico City mall. 

Bengal Tigers

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the tiger is “at the top of the food chain in the wild and thus plays a critical role in the overall function of the ecosystem. Tigers are also a vital link in maintaining the rich biodiversity of nature. If we successfully protect just one tiger, we also protect around 25,000 acres of forest. These ecosystems supply both nature and people with fresh water, food, and health. Maintaining tiger habitats also benefits a host of globally important species like Asian elephants, greater one-horned rhino, and Asiatic black bear, among others.”
 
The NGO explains the illegal wildlife trade is one of the biggest threats for the species: “The most immediate threat to the survival of continental tigers is poaching to supply the demand for tiger parts on the black market. Despite a global trade ban in the past few decades, the demand for tiger products as status symbols, decorative items, and folk cures has increased dramatically, leading to a new poaching crisis. Tiger farms in Thailand, Vietnam, and China perpetuate the demand for tiger products from all sources—including the wild—and contribute to the poaching problem.”
 
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