In 2003, police officers received a tip from an anonymous caller for a “large animal” that was biting people in Harlem. The NYPD narrowed down the search to Antoine Yates’s apartment and, when they arrived on the scene, the “large animal” turned out to be a 400-pound Bengali tiger. Oh, and an alligator, too.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 8, 2012
Well, one officer had to grapple down from the roof and tranquilize the ferocious animal; Yates was later arrested for reckless endangerment and the animals were taken to a shelter nearby, even though it was seen that the Bengali tiger was actually in great shape. Commissioner Ray Kelly described the encounter as an “only-in-New-York story” and we couldn’t agree more.
Why did we mention this story from nine years ago? Yesterday, a similar event occurred in Crown Heights and nostalgia is always an appropriate introduction. For an unrelated matter, police officers were conducting a search of Weeksville Houses on Dean Street around 2 in the afternoon. By accident, they stumbled upon a public housing version of the Bronx Zoo.
When the police discovered the animals, they are all pent up in fish tanks. According to Ben Yakas of Gothamist
, this is what they found
– 6 snakes (1 boa constrictor, 5 pythons)
– 2 bearded dragons
– 2 alligators
– 1 gecko
– 1 scorpion
– 1 tarantula
FYI: none of these animals are allowed in public housing or anywhere near groups of people, for that matter. And, due to this little rule, Animal Care and Control removed the creatures from the apartment and brought them to safety.
Fortunately, we have all these pictures of the exotic animals to gleam at, courtesy of the Daily News. Unfortunately, the owner of the apartment was not present so we can’t find out why the hell this person had a tarantula and where in the world he or she found a bearded dragon.