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Missing: Pet 5-year-old Bengal tiger stolen from home in Mexico

Northern Mexico has developed such a habit of exotic animals and violence, that people not only keep tigers as pets, they steal them.

Prosecutors in the violent northern state of Sonora said Tuesday they are searching for a full-grown Bengal tiger named Baluma. They said the 5-year-old male tiger was stolen Monday from a home in the state capital, Hermosillo.

Prosecutors distributed photos of the big cat resting in its cage alongside a dog, hoping residents will phone police if they see the tiger.

🟤 De oficio, la #FiscalíaDeSonora inició investigación por el delito de robo de un tigre de Bengala en la col. Nueva Esperanza, #Hermosillo; según lo expuesto por la propietaria en redes sociales, fue sustraído el pasado 27 de marzo de donde estaba resguardado. 1/3

— Fiscalía de Sonora (@fgjesonora) March 29, 2023

Authorities said the owners had the proper paperwork needed to keep the animal.

Mexico has long had a problem with people keeping - and occasionally losing control of - large cats, which are sometimes found at drug traffickers' residences and are occasionally seen wandering loose.

Mexican narcos have long had a fascination with exotic animals.

Last year, a spider monkey dressed up as a drug gang mascot was found shot to death after a gunbattle.  Photos from the scene of a shootout in Texcaltitlan with police in which 11 drug gang members died, showed a small monkey - dressed in a tiny camouflage jacket and a tiny "bullet-proof" vest - sprawled across the body of a dead gunman who was apparently his owner.

Also last year, a 450-pound tiger wandered the streets in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit, and a man died from being mauled when he tried to pet a captive tiger in a cartel-dominated area of western Michoacan state.

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