Is Albuquerque seeing an influx of illegal pets?
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque Police Department found a tiger cub earlier this month, but it wasn’t the tiger they were initially looking for.
During the search for the original tiger, they only found tiger hair while searching a southwest Albuquerque home. However, they did find an alligator.
This past Wednesday night, the issue took center stage at the Albuquerque City Council meeting.
“I just have had a lot of calls from constituents, and I share this concern,” said Tammy Fiebelkorn, city councilor.
Fiebelkorn asked APD Chief Harold Medina about these incidents.
“We kind of are seeing an influx of exotic animals into Albuquerque,” Fiebelkorn said. “In the last couple of months. We’ve heard of alligators and tigers, and there’s rumors that there are additional tigers being shipped here.”
Medina said his department believes the first tiger, from last year, is now somewhere out of state. He also said these investigations can be extremely sensitive and complicated.
“I think that one of the things we have to remember is some of these actions are being committed by individuals that are involved in the narcotics world, and that are tied to possibly have cartel ties so they’re very complicated investigations,” Medina said.
KOB 4 checked in with Medina Friday, who said the department is still investigating claims of more exotic animals.
“We’re very concerned about the influx of exotic animals. It’s not just tigers, we also have had reports of alligators being imported into the state of Mexico and other exotic animals,” he said.
So far, no more exotic animals have been found, Medina said, but warns that big cats should not be considered house cats.
“They may look cute as a cub, but eventually they’re going to be a full-grown tiger, and it’s very difficult for somebody to manage a tiger,” he said.