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Texas mom once arrested for raising child in house full of tigers faces new charges

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.

Man mauled to death by lion after jumping zoo fence to steal its cubs

A man has been mauled to death by a lion in Ghana after allegedly sneaking into its enclosure to steal two rare white cubs.

The intruder, who is believed to be in his 30s, climbed over tall mesh fences and entered the cage—housing a lion, a lioness and the two cubs—at Accra Zoo on Sunday 28 August 2022.

According to the Forestry Commission, the man “was attacked and injured by one of the lions, within the fencing of the enclosure.” Chief executive John Allotey also told reporters that a manager saw the lion grab the man by his neck. Security guards were then alerted to the scene at around 12 pm.

“He quickly informed his superiors and the case was reported to the Achimota police,” Allotey continued, adding that all four lions remain secure in their enclosure and have not escaped.

According to officials, the victim had first jumped over a ten-foot fence before scaling another 20-foot one to enter the enclosure.

As per the Global White Lion Protection Trust, only about a dozen white lions exist in the wild and they are rarely found in Ghana. However, researchers claim that a small population could be present in the northern Mole National Park and its surrounding environment.

At Accra Zoo, which was first set up as a private menagerie in the early 1960s by Ghana’s first Prime Minister and President Kwame Nkrumah, lions are a star attraction. The white cubs in question, who were born after breeding a male and female lion with recessive traits called leucism, have fascinated visitors ever since their birth in November 2021.

Although the middle-aged man’s motivation is yet to be determined, wildlife authorities believe he may have planned to steal the two rare cubs—whose enclosure features reinforced mesh fencing that allows visitors to view them up close.

“If you come too close [the lions] may feel you are trying to take away their babies,” deputy minister for Lands and Natural Resources Benito Owusu Bio told journalists. “We ask the public to desist from doing anything like this,” he added.

According to reports, the victim’s body was retrieved from the cage and taken to a local morgue. The Accra Zoo has also been temporarily closed to the public following the incident while police have opened an investigation to establish the motive of the intruder and the circumstances surrounding the attack.