NAPAVINE, Wash. – The owner of four huge Siberian tigers had to give up his cats when he got evicted from his rural Lewis County home.
There was nothing illegal about Paul Mason living at his home with the four tigers. But problems started when their owner, Paul Mason, defaulted on payments on his rent-to-own property.
Four huge Siberian tigers, Samson and Delilah, Romeo and Juliet lived in a divided 40-foot cage in the backyard of Paul Mason’s home.
But on Wednesday, they were evicted.
"In this case, instead of the family dogs and cats and personal property we’re putting out, it just happens to be the tigers that were involved in it," said Gene Sieber, a spokesman for the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department.
Animal rescuers shot darts of drugs into the tigers to sedate them for transport.
"it took eight of us and a stretcher to be able to move’em," Sieber said.
Deputies wouldn’t let KOMO 4’s cameras near the animals until they were caged out of fear they may wake up early.
The oldest male, Samson, weighs more than 600 pounds. He has lived with his owner for the past eight years.
The two-year-olds, Romeo and Juliet, each weigh about 200 pounds each.
"They eat chicken and turkey, and hopefully not a deputy," Sieber said.
Animal rescuers say the tigers are in great shape. Mike Wyche with the Cat Tales Zoological Park says the animals are headed to a bigger space.
"They weren’t in a bad home. The owner, Mr. Mason – all I know is, he’s come under some hard times and financially, he couldn’t do this," he said.
Mason was renting to own the land he lived on for years. But he’s months behind in payments and is now giving up the family cats to a zoological park near Spokane.
"His children thanked us. They said ‘thank you for helping,’ because he can’t take care of’em and he voluntarily surrendered these animals to Cat Tales," Wyche said.
The animals will join about 40 other cats at the Cat Tales Zoological Park. And soon there may be one more addition to the group – Juliet is believed to be pregnant.
The Mason family was distraught over losing their pets and their home, and did not want to talk to KOMO 4 News.
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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