Mike Tyson has always been one of the most talked-about and controversial figures in the world of sports. Besides his boxing skills, Tyson’s personality has always been volatile and unpredictable. One of the most persistent rumors about Mike Tyson is that he owns a pet tiger. This article will explore this rumor by examining the available evidence.
The Origin of the Rumor:
The rumor about Tyson owning a tiger started gaining popularity in the mid-1990s when the boxer was at the pinnacle of his fortunes. His extravagant lifestyle included owning luxurious cars, numerous grand mansions, expansive jewelry and clothing collection, and hence it was not unthinkable that he would possess an exotic pet like a tiger.
The Incident That Amplified the Rumor:
The rumor became more popular in 1997 when there was an alleged instance of Tyson’s pet tiger attacking a female intruder in the boxer’s mansion. As reported, the woman had scaled the fence surrounding Tyson’s premises and entered his mansion without permission. Tyson’s pet tiger named Kenya was around, and it immediately attacked the woman, which led to the boxer’s rapid intervention along with his security team.
Despite the incident, Tyson denied owning the tiger and referred to her as a borrowed pet from a friend who owned an animal sanctuary. He maintained that he had no interest in owning a tiger but agreed to keep the animal for a friend, albeit for a short period. Nevertheless, the rumor persisted, and sightings of Tyson walking his tiger in public or sleeping and cuddling with her in his bed continued, thereby fueling the rumors even further.
It is still unclear if Tyson owned Kenya or any other tiger, but different explanations could justify the hearsay. Despite possessing the financial capacity to obtain, care for, and possess a tiger, owning such an animal requires licensing and due diligence in some states in the U.S. Without proper certification, it could have led to a series of legal consequences, which Tyson, a convicted felon, would prefer to avoid. It is also possible that he owned Kenya but had to dispose of it or temporarily loaned another exotic animal to keep media attention at bay.
The reliability of the rumor cannot be fully confirmed. Even though the available evidence is weak, the possibility of Tyson owning a tiger cannot be entirely discarded. The boxer is a complex character, and his enigma continues to intrigue many even after he retired from boxing. Perhaps, the truth about the tiger may never be entirely disclosed, but it will continue to provoke and stir up discussions about the infamous boxer for years to come.