Boxer Charged After Pet Cougar Escapes in Parkland Neighborhood
What to Know
- Officials say the cougar was underweight when captured, but has since made a full recovery.
Authorities say a professional fighter allowed his pet cougar to escape from his South Florida home earlier this year.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Thursday that 33-year-old Tyrone Spong was charged with offenses including keeping the animal without a permit. Spong is the World Boxing Organization Latino Heavyweight Champion and holds other boxing and kickboxing titles.
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Parkland residents spotted what they believed was an endangered Florida panther in January. Responding wildlife officers subdued it with a tranquilizer.
Although Parkland is near the eastern edge of Florida panther habitat, state wildlife investigators doubted the animal was one of the native felines. They say the large cat is actually a captive-bred cougar.
Officials say the cougar was underweight when captured, but has since made a full recovery. It's now being housed in a licensed facility.
Spong's manager declined to comment.