Bengal tiger cub found in dog crate during shooting investigation, police say

Albuquerque police found a Bengal tiger cub inside a home while investigating a shooting. (SOURCE: NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND FISH)
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 6:11 PM CST
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(Gray News) – Police in New Mexico rescued a Bengal tiger found during a shooting investigation on Tuesday.

The Albuquerque Police Department said officers responded to a call for gunshots fired around 2:15 p.m. While the officers were on the way to the location, someone reported a person had been shot. The responding officers found the victim with a gunshot wound to the leg when they arrived.

Officers said an additional gunshot was heard at the scene coming from a nearby mobile home. When they investigated, they said they found Kevin Gerardo Vargas Mercado armed with a handgun and took him into custody.

A trail of blood was found leading to another trailer in the area, according to police. Officers said they entered the trailer, but instead of finding a wounded person, they said they found a Bengal tiger cub in a dog crate.

A warrant was issued, and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish came to pick up the tiger.

Upon investigation, officials determined the gunshot victim was standing outside the mobile home and was struck by a stray bullet.