NBC

Ming, the Tiger Found Living in a Harlem Apartment Nearly 16 Years Ago, Dies at Animal Sanctuary

TIGER CAUGHT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

What to Know

  • The tiger that was discovered living inside a Harlem apartment 16 years ago has died, officials at an animal sanctuary confirmed
  • Ming, a mixed Siberian and Bengal tiger who was 3 years old when he was removed from an apartment on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. in 2003
  • The tiger was kept inside the apartment until he attacked the man who owned him, leading police to find the animal

The tiger that was discovered living inside a Harlem apartment 16 years ago has died, officials at an animal sanctuary confirmed.

Ming, a mixed Siberian and Bengal tiger who was 3 years old when he was removed from an apartment on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard in 2003, died earlier this year while at Noah’s Lost Ark Exotic Animal Rescue Center in Ohio, the director of the sanctuary told NBC New York, calling it “heartbreaking for all” who worked there.

The tiger was interred at Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Westchester County. The cemetery designed a tombstone for Ming, and wrote a short tribute for his well-known past.

“Legendary NYC tiger, raised in Apartment 5E in the Drew Hamilton Houses at 141st and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. in 2003,” the message reads, with a picture of Ming right next to it. “After three years of living in the apartment, Ming was rescued by the authorities and relocated to Noah’s Lost Ark Animal Sanctuary in rural Ohio where he lived out the rest of his days in comfort and peace.”

The sizable cemetery opened in 1896 and is the oldest operating pet cemetery in the world.

“We felt it was an honor for him to be placed there,” said sanctuary director Ellen Karnofel.

Ming’s remarkable story began when he was purchased by Antoine Yates when he was just a cub. He then kept the growing feline in his Harlem apartment, giving Ming his own room at one point.

When Yates tried to bring home a kitten (a domestic cat, this time), Ming responded poorly and tried to attack. Yates intervened and was bitten in the leg by Ming, and that kicked off a chain of events that ended with the tiger being removed to the sanctuary, and landed Yates in jail.

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