Gorillas, Sharks, Tigers and More: Every Animal Mike Tyson Tamed or Tried to Tame in His Lifetime

If there’s one thing we know about him, it’s that Mike Tyson operates differently. From becoming the youngest heavyweight world champion to becoming one of the richest boxers of the time to declare bankruptcy in 2003, imprisonment, the parking guards with suction cups to be “the toad”, nothing about Mike Tyson is ordinary.


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Starting his professional boxing career in the mid-1980s, he gained a lot of fame, a lot of money and a lot of respect in a very short period of time. To date, the world has not seen someone so fierce, weird, terribly powerful and scary enter the ring and then absolutely beat their opponents.


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As he rose through the ranks, Mike Tyson built up a large store of wealth. There were times in his life when he just didn’t know what to do with his money. While he did a lot of things he shouldn’t have done, ‘Iron’ Mike also spent a lot of money on one very special interest: animals.

During his career and even in his current post-retirement form, the youngest heavyweight champion is extremely fond of animals, almost all kinds of creatures. However, he didn’t always just want to see these animals, he made a point of taming them all.

Five animals Mike Tyson tamed or tried to tame

Most of us know his obsession with tigers from his hit feature in the wacky and comedic hit trilogy series “The Hangover.” However, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Here are five unique animals that Mike Tyson successfully tamed or at least tried to tame:

1. Mike Tyson tried to fight a silverback gorilla for $ 10,000

Mike Tyson once rented an entire zoo for himself and his then-wife Robin Givens. As he walked around the zoo’s gorilla cage, for some reason he really wanted to know what it would be like to fight the silverback gorilla he was staring at.

So he decided to offer the zookeeper $ 10,000 to give him access to the cage for “crush the snot on that silver back ”.

I paid a New York Zoo employee to reopen it just for me and Robin. When we got to the gorilla cage there was a big silverback gorilla intimidating all the other gorillas. They were so powerful but their eyes were like an innocent child.

I offered the attendant $ 10,000 to open the cage and break the snot off that silverback. He refused,noted Mike Tyson.

2. Tigers are very close to the heart of ‘Iron’ Mike

One can spend hours trying to figure out why Mike Tyson ever bought a tiger in the first place. However, there is no good rationale for this story.

On Joe Rogan’s podcast, Tyson share that his decision to have a pet tiger came to him while he was serving his prison sentence for rape in 1992. Still locked behind bars, Tyson was on the phone with a car dealership to buy a new vehicle. But somehow that phone conversation ended with the purchase of a tiger for $ 71,000.

There is nothing more to do ; what started as a decision to buy a car in jail culminated in the purchase of a ferocious cat.

When asked if he would ever consider buying another pet tiger, Tyson said he could no longer let a wild tiger roam his residence like he did. “little” kids. He mentioned that his older children loved ‘Kenya’, his pet tiger, back when he had her. He then added that he had to let her go after 14 years. Tyson thinks “Kenya” may be dead now.

3. Mike Tyson has a weakness for pigeons

By Cheat Sheet, Tyson possesses over 1,000 pigeons, and at one point spent around $ 400,000 per month on their upkeep. However, there is no clear news of the total value of his pigeons. But, once in an interview, Tyson even claimed to have bought a pigeon with a staggering value of $ 2 million.

This itself shows how much love he has for these birds and his love for them has continued for countless years.

In an Impaulsive podcast episode with YouTuber, entrepreneur and famous boxer Logan Paul, Tyson received a pigeon. Paul then asked him why he was specifically interested in pigeons.

Excuse me? It’s my culture. Look for Mike Tyson with his pigeons. It’s just what we do in the neighborhood, it’s culture. The coolest, toughest guys have it, that’s why it was a cool thing to have,”Said Mike Tyson.

4. Tyson once fed his friend to his dogs Bullmastiff and Cane Corso

In a Hotboxin podcast episode, Mike Tyson’s friend Al B Sure recalled and recounted an incident that happened years ago when he once hung out with Tyson at his Cleveland home. He shared that one morning Tyson literally picked him up and threw him over a fence and straight into a cage full of his dogs Bullmastiff and Cane Corso.

I remember one day Michael had these dogs, like bullmastiffs and Cane Corsos. They are massive dogs. Mike, like he’s one with the animals, he loves him and they love him. So he’s already getting up to go to train and I remember I’m in the back and he’s like half the night.

And, Mike comes up behind me and picks me up, throws me over the fence with the dogs. I said ‘yo Mike stop playing, stop playing’. So all of a sudden the dogs come running and they go to me and Mike says either ‘Platz’ or something and the dogs all froze. I urinated or something, I know that was it,noted Al B Of course, Tyson’s friend.

5. Mike Tyson even held a shark with his bare hands


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At the start of 2020, “Iron” Mike went scuba diving and swam underwater among real sharks. He appeared on Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week”; as part of the show, he was forced to hold a real shark by the snot and hold it down.


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Hosts of “Shark Week” describe that toned stillness is a tactic used by scientists to keep research as safe as possible for the shark and the researcher. It is caused by stimulating the tiny sensory pores in a shark’s snout, causing a temporary state of inactivity.


How much are Mike Tyson’s pigeons worth?

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