Mike Tyson has spoken about the time he’s spent with wild tigers.
‘Iron Mike’ is known as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all-time. While he’s acclaimed for his fights inside the ring, he’s also known for his controversies outside. While Tyson has calmed down as he’s aged, the former champion went wild when he was in his prime.
One of the most noteworthy things that Tyson did at the peak of his powers was own various exotic pets. While he kept smaller animals such as birds, he also notably owned three different tigers earlier in his life.
On The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, he’s discussed what it was like to own exotic pets. The 55-year-old made it clear how much he loved the animals, but he also revealed that he would like to play around with them. One of the things he let the tigers do was bite him, saying:
“Well they think I’m running and s*** when we playing. They chew on my arm and stuff, but if they bite my head, they can hurt me by accident but they don’t mean it. When one was on my shoulder, I let them bite me, on my legs and stuff. [We were just playing], but yeah they can pierce my skull.”
Watch Mike Tyson discuss owning pet tigers in the video below:
Why did Mike Tyson get pet tigers?
Mike Tyson’s story of how he got tigers is an interesting one. It all began back when ‘Iron Mike’ was jailed in the early1990s.
On another edition of Joe Rogan’s podcast, Tyson revealed that while in prison, he was talking to a friend who had access to exotic animals. While the individual was apparently able to get everything from horses to lions, that’s not what the now 55-year-old wanted.
He asked the man if he could secure some tigers after his release from prison, which the friend did. Recalling the story, Tyson said:
“This is really interesting. I’m in prison at the time. So I’m in prison, I’m talking to my car dealer at the time and he has some cars that belong to a (mutual friend), and he’s discussing ‘If he doesn’t pay for these cars, I’m going to sell these cars to somebody and get some horses.’ I said ‘What, you can get horses? And trade horses in for cars?’ Because I had a lot of cars, I’d probably get some horses too.’ And he said ‘Yeah man, you can get cougars, lions, tigers…’ I said ‘You do?! Can you get me some tigers?’ The guy said ‘Imagine, how cool that would be?’”