LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer announced today that his office has secured a conviction of Nicholas Perkins, 33, over allegations that Perkins illegally possessed and mistreated a baby tiger cub at his home and possessed anabolic steroids. The Bengal Tiger cub, now named Neil, was identified by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) through social media posts, including a YouTube video with personality Logan Paul.
Perkins pled no contest to one count of Fish & Game Code sec. 2118(b) – Unlawful Possession of a Restricted Wild Live Animal. Among the terms he agreed to:
- 36 months of summary probation;
- $1,000 fine plus penalties and assessments, totaling approximately $3,900;
- $2,000 to the DFW Preservation Fund;
- Payment of all veterinary bills, totaling approximately $52,000;
- Attend 16 hours of Animal Cruelty classes;
- Cooperate in any subsequent investigation of the breeder/seller of the tiger.
“We should never allow any animal to be exploited,” said Feuer. “The defendant’s conduct here is illegal—and flaunting this treatment of an exotic, endangered baby tiger on social media sent a horrible message that behavior like this is OK. It isn’t. My office remains committed to protecting the welfare of all animals and holding accountable those who put them in jeopardy.”
The Special Operations Unit of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife assisted with this matter.
“California wildlife officers are doing everything possible to stop the trafficking of wildlife in California and all over the world,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “Addressing the crimes associated with possession and mistreatment of this tiger is a measurable gain in that effort.”
In December 2018, City Attorney Feuer filed against Perkins for the alleged illegal possession and mistreatment of the baby tiger cub at Perkins’ home. A search warrant to seize the cub was executed on Perkins’ home on November 9, 2017 and the animal was taken into custody. During the search, there was extensive evidence of the animal’s poor living conditions and the presence of anabolic steroids.
Neil currently lives at America’s Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College, which took him in after authorities reached out. He lives with his companion, Karma, who is two weeks younger. They have been together since the age of six months, which experts report is ideal for a lifelong tiger friendship.
The next court date to discuss Perkins’ progress will be held on April 22, 2020.
Deputy City Attorney Nick Karno of the Environmental Justice Unit successfully prosecuted the case.
About Mike Feuer
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has long been one of California's leading lawyers and lawmakers. As LA's chief lawyer and prosecutor since July, 2013, he has brought an innovative, problem-solving focus that combines tough and effective prosecution with initiatives to improve public safety and the quality of life throughout the city. Feuer's office also has been at the forefront of key national issues ranging from gun violence prevention and consumer protection to justice system reform and challenges to recent federal policies that threaten fundamental rights, public health and public safety. Follow @CityAttorneyLA