A Texas mom once arrested for housing three tigers, a cougar, a skunk, a fox and eight “vicious” monkeys under the same roof as her 14-year-old daughter in Cypress, Texas, is now facing new federal charges after she allegedly brokered the sale of an endangered jaguar cub—which was later abandoned at a California wildlife sanctuary.
As first reported by The Daily Beast, Trisha Denise Meyer, 40, is freshly charged with two misdemeanours and a felony, including the interstate sale of an endangered species and trafficking prohibited wildlife, for transporting the live jaguar cub from Texas to California in 2021 after agreeing to the $30,000 sale in Austin.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California, Meyer’s co-defendant Abdul Rahman, a Southern California car dealer, claimed he purchased the jaguar from the Texas mom but “quickly became dissatisfied” and wanted to sell it without losing money. “The complaint notes that Rahman was given a $5,000 credit toward the $25,000 jaguar purchase because Meyer previously sold him a marmoset that went ‘crazy’,” The Daily Beast noted.
Rahman then unloaded the jaguar on a married couple. However, the buyer’s pregnant wife was concerned about raising a wild animal and a newborn in the same home and eventually abandoned the growing cub on the doorstep of an exotic animal rescue group in Alpine, California.
“These people are just idiots,” Bobbi Brink, founder and director of Lions Tigers & Bears, told The Daily Beast. “And they don’t care about the animals at all. It’s all about the money.”
Meyer was previously arrested in 2016 for child endangerment after officials found several exotic and dangerous animals roaming freely at her home with her teenage daughter. The Houston Police Department first visited the ‘tiger mom’ after she had allegedly scammed a man who tried to buy a Savannah kitten from her for $3,000.
When police arrived at her house, they found the 14-year-old “petting and making physical contact with the tigers and the tigers making contact with her.” At the time, Meyer herself admitted that her tigers were big enough to be “dangerous and could kill” and that her monkeys were aggressive and hostile, and had even attacked people before.
Meyer’s tigers freely roamed both her house and yard, which reportedly only had a four-foot fence. She also lived near an elementary school, and according to Fox News, told officials that she only caged the predators when she wasn’t home. What’s more is that the Texas mom did not have licences for the eight monkeys, the cougar, the fox, or the skunk.
At the time, BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions took the animals into protective custody and Meyer was held on $2,000 bail in the Nye County Jail, Nevada—where she received a deferred sentence and didn’t have to serve any jail time.