Published On: Thu, Mar 1st, 2012

‘Tarzan’ actor, Steve Sipek, arrested as two tigers and leopard were pets at home

Florida Wildlife officials say three big cats have been removed from home of an actor who played Tarzan in a 1970 remake of the film.

Steve Sipek had two tigers and a leopard taken from his home Monday morning because he didn’t have a federal permit for them at his Loxahatchee home, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson was quoted as saying by the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Authorities said the animals weren’t being fed a proper diet, they had bitten people multiple times and had escaped in the past.

Two of Sipek’s acquaintances were bitten in 2002 and 2010, but did not press charges. In December 1996, a cougar escaped from Sipek’s C Road property by leaping over a perimeter fence.

But it was the escape in 2004 of Bobo, a 600-pound Bengal tiger, that drew the attention of authorities and garnered international headlines. The tiger wandered the rural residential Loxahatchee community before being shot by a Fish and Wildlife officer.

Since Bobo’s escape, Sipek has been battling state and federal officials to keep large cats.

“It got to the point that we felt it was a safety hazard to the public but also there were concerns about the well-being of the animals, Segelson was quoted as saying.

Sipek was arrested for having the animals without a federal permit and having them as pets, and the cats are being taken to a wildlife sanctuary.

 2010 Photo/Bill Ebbesen via wikimedia commons

2010 Photo/Bill Ebbesen via wikimedia commons

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