Rapper Tyga Could Face Charges for Pet Tiger

The Young Money artist's Instagram account shows photos of the tiger, including one where the animal is sitting on top of a black Rolls Royce

By Whitney Irick and Gordon Tokumatsu
|  Saturday, Apr 26, 2014  |  Updated 4:52 PM PDT
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Unbelievable Animals: Massive School of Anchovies

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Rapper Tyga could face criminal charges after authorities received a report that he was housing this pet tiger at his Calabasas home, officials said Friday, April 25, 2014.

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A Grammy-nominated rapper, aptly known by his stage name Tyga, could face criminal charges for allegedly illegally housing a pet tiger in his Southern California mansion.

Authorities got an anonymous tip April 19 about a Bengal tiger living at Tyga's Calabasas home, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

When the warden responded, the 7-month-old male Bengal tiger was nowhere to be found.

Officials staked out the home for seven hours until Tyga, or Michael Ray Stevenson, returned home at 11 p.m., department spokesman Andrew Hughan said.

When they questioned the rapper about his exotic pet, Tyga told them he took it to a Ventura County shelter earlier that day, Hughan said.

But that shelter is meant to house more common house pets, such as dogs and cats, and can't accommodate a 100-pound endangered wild animal, officials said.

The tiger was removed from the shelter and has been transferred to a "secure location" by state authorities, but they would not disclose the location to NBC4.

The animal is brown with black stripes and appears to be in good shape, Hughan said.

The Young Money artist's Instagram account shows photos of a tiger, including one where the animal is sitting on top of a black Rolls Royce. Another photo features a tiger on the floor of what appears to be a recording studio with Tyga seen in the background.

Animals such as tigers are forbidden to own as pets under the Fish and Game Code. The animals "must be kept in a permitted facility that is licensed to house and care for restricted species."

Tyga could faces fines and up to six months in jail for misdemeanor possession of a prohibited species, Hughan said.

Tyga's representatives have not returned attempts by NBC4 for comment.

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