An alligator, drugs, guns and money were seized during a raid at two homes in Albuquerque last month, but New Mexico wildlife officials said Saturday they are still searching for a young tiger they believe is being illegally kept as a pet.
Investigators think the tiger is with someone “in New Mexico or a nearby state,” New Mexico Department of Game and Fish conservation officers said in a statement.
The animal was believed to be less than 1 year old and weigh under 60 pounds, but tigers can grow to 600 pounds, the department said, calling large meat-eating animals such as tigers and alligators a clear danger to the public.
Wild tigers are listed globally as an endangered species. Alligators were listed as endangered in the U.S. from 1967 to 1987, but today thrive in the wild.
The alligator seized by authorities is about 3 feet long. It was taken to a wildlife facility after state conservation officers and federal, state and local police served search warrants Aug. 12.
“Exotic animals illegally held in captivity are often in very poor condition when conservation officers discover them due to a lack of proper care,” the department said in a statement. “Department investigators spend significant time on cases like this one. “
Albuquerque police reported 26-year-old Carlos Giddings was arrested and investigators seized 2 pounds of heroin, 10.5 pounds of cocaine, 49 pounds of marijuana, 17 rifles and pistols (including one AK-47 rifle and one AR-15 rifle), fentanyl and Xanax pills, and nearly $42,000.