Tiger cub illegally listed for sale online has a new temporary home in Scottsdale

For now, she has grown tremendously and is very active.
For now, she has grown tremendously and is very active.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 8:15 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2023 at 7:14 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A tiger cub is now safe and properly cared for after investigators discovered she was being sold illegally online. The cub is now in the hands of the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale.

Phoenix police say 25-year-old Carlos Castro-Alcaraz was trying to sell the cub on social media for $25,000. However, officers discovered he was also selling other exotic animals, including baby snapping turtles and a baby alligator. The animals were first taken to the Arizona Game and Fish Department before being picked up by the conservation center. Currently, Castro-Alcaraz is indicted on charges of endangering and selling the cub.

“She has plenty of toys and entertainment to keep her busy while she waits to be taken to her forever home,” said Linda Searles, Director of the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. While the case continues, the tiger cub will remain in Scottsdale.

Once the case is settled, she will be transferred to an out-of-state sanctuary with other tigers and more special amenities for exotic animals. “It’s really important to keep her occupied and entertained as best we can. This play time is all about building her confidence and muscles and just trying to help her learn how to be a tiger,” said Kaitlyn Henry, an animal care specialist.

However, Jamie Oliver, a conservation center employee, is reminding people it is still dangerous to have tigers as pets. “They have all their wild instincts. They have needs just like people do. Socialization things; they eat and taking them to your home is not the best thing for them and certainly not for you either,” said Oliver.

For now, she has grown tremendously and is very active. Searles said initially, the cub was “wobbly,” but she has made healthy progress after being placed on a special diet. She lives in a special enclosure in the animal hospital, where she has several toys to keep her occupied and playful. “I think I can speak for everybody when I say we’re all attached to her and will miss her. We’re looking forward to when she can get to permanent home and be with other tigers,” said Oliver.