Mexico Police Searching for Full-Grown Bengal Tiger Stolen From Home

Prosecutors in Northern Mexico are searching for a 5-year-old adult male tiger that was stolen from a residence in the state of Sonora on Monday

stolen bengal tiger in mexico
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Prosecutors in Northern Mexico are searching for an adult tiger that was stolen from someone's home, multiple outlets report.

Per ABC News, the 5-year-old male tiger named Baluma was reportedly taken on Monday from a residence in Hermosillo, the state capital of Sonora.

Prosecutors said that the owners had the proper paperwork to house the exotic animal, according to the outlet.

CBS News noted that pictures were provided in the area to local residents, showing the tiger resting with a dog inside a fenced-off area.

PEOPLE reached out to local police in the area for comment and more information.

According to multiple reports, Mexico has long been associated with the problem of people housing and losing these big cats, which the Associated Press reports are sometimes commonly kept at the residences of drug traffickers. There have also been multiple cases of people caught smuggling the endangered animals over the U.S. border.

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In the States back in May 2021, Houston residents spotted a nine-month-old tiger prowling around neighborhood yards. The exotic pet's owner gave the animal to the authorities shortly after the large cat, named India, made headlines for being out on the street.

After India's former owner surrendered the tiger, the animal moved to Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, an animal sanctuary in Murchison, Texas, that is part of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Described as a "powerful predator" by New York City's American Museum of Natural History, the Bengal "can leap up to 30 feet in the air, climb trees, and even swim."

The tigers "aren't picky carnivores" and will prey on animals as small as a mouse, but "prefer larger prey," and can even feast on an animal "as big as a one-ton water buffalo."

In 1920, "there were roughly 100,000 tigers in the world," the website notes, though there are fewer than 4,000 living today.

Kitty Block, the CEO of HSUS, shared last May that she hoped India's story encourages people to avoid exotic pet ownership.

"We cannot have dangerous wild animals roaming neighborhoods or confined inside of a house," Block said in a statement. "Forcing animals like India to be treated as a 'pet' is inhumane and a serious public safety risk — no matter how 'cute' or 'tame' the animal may seem. Big cats express natural, unpredictable behaviors that can occur at any moment. Thankfully, we can provide permanent sanctuary for India, but that is not going to stop the problem. Situations like this are why we are working to pass federal legislation. The Big Cat Public Safety Act would prohibit keeping big cats as pets."

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