Ming, the Tiger Who Once Lived in a New York Apartment, Is Dead at 19

Screenshot: Animal Planet

Ming, a 400-pound tiger who was found 16 years ago living inside an apartment in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, has died. He was 19 years old.

NBC New York reports that Ming died peacefully at the Noah’s Lost Ark Exotic Animal Rescue Center in Ohio back in February, but news of his passing only made it to reporters just now. The tiger was cremated in the spring and interred at Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Westchester, not far from where he spent his cubhood.

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Indeed, for the first three years of his life, Ming lived in an apartment on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard in Harlem with his human owner, one Antoine Yates, in addition to an alligator and a number of other animal roommates. According to the New York Daily News, on September 30, 2003, Yates went to an area hospital seeking treatment for some wounds. Doctors determined he’d been attacked by a large animal, and when police showed up at Yates’s fifth-floor apartment, they found Ming (who became belligerent when Yates brought home another cat, as cats often do).

Ming was removed from the apartment and sent to Noah’s Lost Ark, where, like many former New Yorkers before him, he reportedly enjoyed much more space and good times. “He lived a really good life here,” Karnofel told the Daily News. “He was able to run and play on the grounds. He had tiger friends. He had a swimming pool. He as able to experience the elements.”

The News says Ming died of kidney and heart failure. Tigers in captivity tend to live 16 to 18 years, so Ming had a nice, long life. RIP, buddy.

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