On Tuesday, a grand jury in Maricopa County, Arizona indicted 25-year-old Carlos Eduardo Castro Alcaraz for allegedly attempting to sell a tiger cub on social media. Alcaraz faces one felony count of unlawful taking, handling, possession, or sale of wildlife.
According to reports, Alcaraz was arrested on January 23rd following an investigation into a tip that he was trying to sell the cub on social media for $25,000. During the investigation, undercover detectives posed as buyers and negotiated a price of $20,000 with Alcaraz.
Upon executing a search warrant at a home near 27th Avenue and Baseline Road, police recovered the tiger cub, along with other animals, including baby snapping turtles and a baby American alligator. The cub was reportedly kept in a very small cage, similar to a dog kennel, and was heard moaning in the background during the search.
Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchel announced the indictment against Alcaraz on Tuesday, more than a month after his arrest. Mitchel emphasized that protecting vulnerable members of the community, including animals, is a priority for her office.
“It is reassuring to know that after law enforcement intercepted, the tiger cub was removed from the home, taken to a safe place, and is currently in good health,” Mitchel said.
The tiger cub has been turned over to the care of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The case has raised concerns about the illegal wildlife trade and the exploitation of animals for profit, highlighting the need for stronger laws and enforcement to protect endangered species.
This little guy is not the only one earning his stripes.🐯 25yo Carlos Alcaraz was arrested on 1/23 & booked on possession of live wildlife & game and fish violations after advertising the cub on social media. #PHXPD600Patrol negotiated the sale of the cub and served a warrant. pic.twitter.com/e0LDWIMdvr— Phoenix Police (@PhoenixPolice) January 24, 2023