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Authorities Seize Rapper Tyga's Pet Tiger

Apr 26, 2014 11:50 AM EDT
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A 7-month-old Bengal tiger cub reportedly owned by Los Angeles-area rapper Tyga was seized by authorities, according to news reports.

The tiger cub, which was allegedly being illegally housed in the Grammy-nominated rapper's home, has been taken into custody at a licensed animal shelter.

It is unclear how long Tyga was in possession of the tiger.

The 24-year-old rapper, whose real name is Michael Ray Nguyen-Stevenson, had been posting pictures of the tiger cub on his Instagram page since March.

After being tipped off on April 19 that a tiger may have been housed illegally in the rapper's Ventura County home, wildlife authorities searched the property.

They reportedly found no signs of the tiger and waited at the home for seven hours until Tyga returned.

Upon being questioned on the whereabouts of the exotic animal, the rapper said he had taken it to a private animal shelter in Ventura County earlier in the day.

According to the celebrity news site TMZ, sources close to Tyga report that the rapper took good care of the the animal and he did not realize it was illegal to own. Tyger surrendered his pet tiger to the animal shelter as soon as he realized having it in his possession was illegal, TMZ reported.

An investigation into the incident is underway. Tyga could face fines and up to six months in jail for misdemeanor possession of a prohibited species, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"The important thing to us is the health and safety of the animal and it's safe and sound for now," California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan told Los Angeles-area news station KTLA.

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