Two years ago, our newly locked down minds were collectively gripped by Joe Exotic, the subject of Netflix’s 2020 series Tiger King (never underestimate the power of a trauma bond). And now, a new rising star in the world of illegal animal trafficking is here to occupy our brain space: A 40-year-old exotic animal seller named Trisha Denise Meyer, who calls herself “Mimi Erotic,” is currently on the run from law enforcement, according to the Independent, as she faces four counts related to the illegal transportation and sale of a jaguar cub.
In April 2021, Meyer agreed to sell a jaguar to a man in California named Abdul Rahman. But Rahman, who didn’t know how to take care of the large cat (who does?) quickly realized he didn’t want to be a jaguar dad (who would?) and dropped it off at the Lions, Tigers, and Bears sanctuary in Alpine, California. After some investigation, the abandoned feline was traced back to Meyer, landing her four federal charges of interstate transportation of an endangered species in the course of commercial activity, interstate sale of an endangered species, trafficking prohibited wildlife species, and trafficking endangered species.
Presently, Meyer is nowhere to be found. She was last active on her Instagram account, @mimiseroticworld, where she advertises animals and posts pictures in animal-print lingerie, in April 2021. An OnlyFans account she started last year under the same username is also now defunct.
The animal seller’s antics have spanned a decade, four states, thousands of dollars, and lots of dead animals. And while the details of Meyer’s current scam are pretty...wild, her hustle has always been attention-grabbing. A woman of many aliases—Emily, Mimi, Trissa, and Trisha, to name a few—Meyer had her beastly entrepreneurial start in 2010 in Houston, Texas, where she was keeping 104 dogs in her apartment. As the years went on, Meyers would sell exotic cats, dogs (one, in particular, had a woman “fighting for her life”), kinkajous, and more. Many of the creatures were falsely advertised and had no paperwork, and some (like a $6,500 monkey and a wolf cub) were very sick and ended up dying soon after they were purchased from her.
In 2017, things seemingly reached a head for Meyer. After a flurry of similar illegal-deals-gone-wrong stories emerged on an online complaint board in 2016, one unhappy customer decided to pull the trigger. After trying to buy a $3,000 Savannah kitten from Meyer that never materialized, a California man tipped Texas police to go to Meyer’s house. What they found at her Houston residence—where she was also homeschooling her children—was like a scene straight out of The Jungle Book: In addition to her human family, the house was also home to tigers, monkeys, a skunk, and a fox. The tiger was even roaming free when the police arrived. Facing charges including child endangerment, Meyer fled to Nevada, where she was eventually found and her tigers were confiscated.
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According to the San Antonio news outlet KSAT, Meyer pleaded innocent to charges of child endangerment, but guilty to a theft charge with two years deferred adjudication. “It’s been a nightmare for my kids and because I’ve been portrayed in the media as having had a mountain lion in the house, tigers in the house, foxes, skunks all loose together, which has never happened,” Meyer told reporters at the time. “It’s just been a nightmare trying to prove my innocence.” the Daily Beast reported that Meyer never ended up serving any jail time.
Authorities continue to search for Meyer with no clear leads. While her Instagram was previously helpful in tracking her down, that isn’t the case this time around. Rahman faces similar charges of interstate transportation of an endangered species in the course of commercial activity, trafficking prohibited wildlife species, and trafficking endangered species. As for Amador the Jaguar, he’s living his best life over at the sanctuary.