Mike Tyson has opened up about the reason why he had to sell his beloved pet tiger, Kenya.
The former professional boxer paid a reported £55,000 to buy Kenya, who was by his side for 16 years; even staying in Tyson’s bedroom.
However, Tyson was forced to give her up after she ripped somebody’s arm off. Further evidence, which really shouldn’t be needed, that tigers are far better off in the wild than they are in somebody’s back garden.
You can watch the interview for yourself below:
Speaking with GQ Sports, Tyson, 53, said:
I did have a pet tiger, I had a great affection for her. I kept her, I slept with her, I kept her in my room. She stayed with me – I had her about 16 years.
But she got too old, and I had to get rid of her when her eyes and her head got bad. Oh, and she ripped somebody’s arm off.
Earlier in the year, Tyson spoke out about his reasoning behind purchasing such a dangerous creature during an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
Tyson has apparently owned no fewer than three tigers during his life before being forced to give them up. He apparently decided to buy them on a whim after discovering he could trade his cars for them.
Speaking on the podcast, Tyson said:
This is really interesting. I’m in prison at the time. So I’m in prison, I’m talking to my car dealer at the time… and he’s discussing ‘if he doesn’t pay for these cars, I’m going to sell these cars to somebody and get some horses.’
I said ‘what, you can get horses? And trade horses in for cars?’ Because I had a lot of cars, I’d probably get some horses too.”
And he said ‘yeah man, you can get cougars, lions, tigers…’ I said ‘you do?! Can you get me some tigers?’
The guy said ‘imagine how cool that would be?’ Because I had a bunch of fancy cars, ‘imagine that man, you’d be in an Aston Martin or a Ferrari. You’d have a tiger right next to you, man. That’s be so awesome.’
And I’m a young guy. I’m saying to myself ‘wow, that would be cool. Get me some cubs, man.’
For anyone interested in getting a pet, it’s probably best in the long run to just get a nice, small-toothed hamster or something…
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.