Mike Tyson has told numerous stories about the tigers he used to own. He had several that he owned over the years, but one, in particular, was his favorite.
Kenya, the white Siberian tiger spent a significant amount of time with Tyson, but she also got him into serious trouble. In fact, she once cost him $250,000 after she attacked one of his neighbors.
Mike Tyson had a lot of extravagant possessions
By the ‘90s, Tyson had built such a reputation for his lavish lifestyle that it came as no surprise that he was interested in buying big cats.
Mike Tyson bought tigers from prison
Tyson had hundreds of millions of dollars sitting in his bank account while he served a six-year prison sentence in the ‘90s. During that time, he frequently communicated with a friend who imported foreign cars. The same friend was considering trading a few cars for some exotic animals, which caught Tyson’s attention.
“He said, ‘Horses and stuff, and my dad raised tigers and lions, too,” Tyson said, according to Insider. “‘If you got one of those that would be cooler than a Ferrari.’”
It didn’t take long for Tyson to decide he wanted in. He ended up buying a few tiger cubs while he was in prison.
“I said, ‘Why don’t you order me a couple, I’ll be getting out in a couple of months.’ I was in prison. And so when I got out, came home, I had two cubs.”
Mike Tyson slept with his tiger
Tyson developed a strong relationship with his tigers after being released from prison. He spent a lot of time with one of them, named Kenya, in particular. He was so fond of her, he let her sleep in his bedroom with him.
“I had a great affection for her,” Tyson told GQ. “I kept her, I slept with her. I kept her in my room. She stayed with me. I had her for probably 16 years.”
Mike Tyson’s tiger attacked a woman
While Tyson had many sweet interactions with Kenya, she had a few moments that weren’t so great with others. At one point, one of Tyson’s neighbors snuck onto his property in hopes of playing with the tiger, but things went awry.
Unfamiliar with the surprise houseguest, Kenya ended up attacking his neighbor and causing serious injury.
“Somebody jumped over my fence where my tiger was and … started playing with the tiger,” Tyson said. The tiger didn’t know the lady so there was a bad accident.”
Mike Tyson paid her $250,000 for her pain and suffering
After the incident, Tyson’s neighbor tried to sue him but had no luck since she had trespassed onto private property. Despite this, Tyson still paid her a lot of money for her injury.
“Listen, when I saw what the tiger did to her … I had a lot of money back then so I gave her $250,000, whatever it was, because she was just f—ed up,” Tyson said.