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65 Duke L.J. Online 1 (2015-2016)

handle is hein.journals/duljo65 and id is 1 raw text is: 










Duke LawJournal Online


VOLUME 65                     AUGUST                             2015



                   EXOTIC ADDICTION

                       MELISSA A. MORGANt

                           INTRODUCTION
     In late 2003, the NYPD responded to an unusual call at a Harlem
public housing project.1 One of the building's tenants, Antoine Yates,
had been admitted to the hospital with deep gashes in his thigh and
arm. He claimed he had been attacked by a pit bull, but his neighbors
had a different story to tell. While Yates was in the hospital, police
received an anonymous tip that he had been keeping an unusual pet in
his apartment: a 500-lb Bengal tiger named Ming. The hungry animal
had become increasingly agitated in his owner's absence and was
crashing through the apartment, scratching the walls and destroying the
furniture. With no one to clean the apartment, gallons of tiger urine
began pooling on the floor, dripping into the apartment below.
     In an attempt to escape the violence of the projects, Yates had
purchased the cub online, hoping to someday move upstate and start a
zoo. Ming had lived with Yates in his 500-square-foot 19th-floor
apartment since the tiger was eight weeks old. The zoo fell through, and
Yates began spending all of his time with his growing pet, with whom
he believed he had a spiritual bond. After two years with the tiger,
Yates rescued a stray housecat. The presence of a new animal in the

Copyright © 2015 Melissa A. Morgan.
    T Duke University School of Law, J.D. 2015; Pepperdine University, B.A. 2005.
    1. Yates's story was featured in several news articles, see, e.g., Tiger, gator removed from
Harlem apartment, CNN (Oct. 6, 2003, 10:19 AM), http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/Northeast/
10/04/nyc.tiger [http://perma.cc/BP29-H8XJ], as well as in an episode of Fatal Attractions, A
Tiger  in  Harlem, ANIMAL   PLANET,  http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/fatal-
attractions/videos/a-tiger-in-harlem/ [http://perma.cc/7BYT-9WX4] (last visited Aug. 7, 2015),
an Animal Planet television series devoted to the stories of wild pets that ultimately attacked
their owners. For more information, visit http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/fatal-
attractions.

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