This is the deadly 500lb tiger kept as a pet in a tiny apartment just moments after attacking its owner.
Antoine Yates was mauled by Ming, the tiger he brought up in his cramped apartment in a tower block in Harlem, New York, in 2003.
Terrified police then had to launch a careful rescue programme – with a brave officer eventually lowered down the side of his high rise so he could fire a tranquilizer into the amazing beast.
Ming was removed safely and is now in an animal reserve in Ohio while Antoine, who showed off photos of wild animals he collected from a young child, was jailed for six months for endangerment.
Police were alerted to go to the 21-storey block after Antoine checked into hospital with bites he said were caused by a pit bull.
When they arrived at the scene, they found a three-to-five-foot-long (1-1.5m) caiman alligator as well.
Detective Martin Duffy relived for a US TV documentary on the event how the tiger was initially peaceful – but then charged at him.
“All I saw was his giant head with a mouthful of giant teeth coming at me,” he recalled.
“That’s when I was like, ‘All right, I’m going to be eaten by a tiger’,” he told Animal Planet’s show.
Ming’s owner Antoine told the show that he loved having pets from a young age.
“What attracted me to animals was the peace, the peace of being with them. Everything is unconditional – you love them and they love you back.”
Brave police officer Martin Duffy was lowered down the tower block to fire a crucial tranquilizer dart into the tiny apartment before officers could safely remove the enraged tiger” Antoine claimed the “hell on earth” environment of Harlem encouraged his passion to stay inside with his pets, away from the dangers outside.
“One of my first exotic animals was a squirrel monkey – then I started getting into boa constrictors and pythons,” he added.
His family had planned to open a zoo, he says – so he ended up pretending they already had one to con his way into owning two tigers and two lions.
He ended up getting rid of three of them – but was too attached to Ming to let it go.
“My relationship with Ming was very, very unique,” he insisted. “We had a bond that was unbelievable.”
Brave police officer Martin Duffy was lowered down the tower block to fire a crucial tranquilizer dart into the tiny apartment before officers could safely remove the enraged tiger Ming grew to be a 500lbs adult tiger – but this wild beast had never left Antoine’s small apartment in the Harlem high rise while his owner chose to remain with the jungle cat.
“To be close to such a beautiful animal 24 hours a day is magical. I began to really understand a big cat,” he claimed.
“At that point I was ready to disconnect from the world.”
Their dangerous relationship emerged when Antoine’s brother Aaron visited and was stunned to meet the feline resident.
“All I see is one eye almost the size of a pool ball. I jumped back and shouted, ‘Yo what you doing man!’,” Aaron recalled.
“[Antoine] said, ‘I told you, man, this is serious’. I said, ‘No, man, this is beyond serious – this is crazy.”
In 2003 it was Aaron who found Antoine after Ming’s attack, saying he saw him “on the floor, shaking, like he was going into shock”.
He rushed him to hospital – but they were both too terrified to admit what had happened. “We said he was bitten by a dog,” Aaron admitted.
But a neighbour tipped off the police, who initially knocked a hole through the wall to see what they were dealing with.
NYPD lieutenant Eugene McCarthy recalled: “We saw a bed that was totally flipped upside down and it was shredded through, as an animal would shred through paper.
“And then we saw there were claw marks all the way up to the top of the ceiling.
“That threw us for a shock – we knew this was going to be a lot bigger than we first thought.”
Not seeing the tiger in that room, the officers then used a periscope camera from outside the window.
“I looked into the camera and the tiger was sitting down,” Lt McCarthy remembered.
“I was like, ‘Woah, that’s pretty big!’ I was pretty overwhelmed. But I had to keep my poker face up.”
Detective Martin Duffy saw his life flash before his eyes as a 500lb tiger went in for the kill ” Detective Martin Duffy was then lowered down down the building to look in, and admits: “I’m not gonna lie – you have to be pretty nervous. This is a 500lbs tiger at the top of the animal chain. You just have to suck it up and be a man.
“I was pretty comfortable until I heard him roar – incredibly, incredibly loud.
“When I saw him he was laying down, real peaceful. Then he looked at me, ready to make a move.
“I took a shot and I hit him in the hind – and that’s when he went berserk.
“Initially he charged away and when he hit the interior wall I could feel the outside wall of the building shaking, that’s how powerful he was.
“Then he turned around and just charged at the window. All I saw was his giant head with a mouthful of giant teeth coming at me.
“That’s when I was like, ‘All right, I’m going to be eaten by a tiger’.”
Eventually the sedatives took hold and Ming was carried from the building by animal welfare officers. Detective Duffy admitted he felt compelled to reach out and touch tiger as he was removed from the tower block.
“He was magnificent – this beautiful fur, an amazing creature.”
Antoine spent six months in jail while his beloved Ming was taken to an animal sanctuary.
“Ironically we were both placed in cages for the first time,” he reflected, sadly.