Gothamist's favorite law-breaking animal lover, Antoine Yates, was sentence to five months in prison and five year probation for keeping illegal pets, most notably a 400 pound Bengal tiger and an alligator, in his Harlem apartment. Yates pleaded guilty, in exchange for having child endangerment charges dropped against his 68 year-old mother (her children would visit the apartment-turned-zoo). Yates' lawyer feels the charges were due to race and said, "If his mother had been Martha Stewart, not Martha Yates, he'd not be in jail. He'd be doing 500 hours of community service in the Bronx Zoo." One friend felt Yates probably learned something from the ordela: “I think the lesson that he probably learned is that he didn't have the proper papers and the proper place to keep the tiger.” Yates, who had served time in jail from a previous occasion when his lawyer didn't show up in court, told the judge, "If I had money, I never would have had Ming in the projects." Sadly, Curbed does not break down apartments by "animal friendly" though many real estate agents do.

The Post reports that the assistant district attorney claimed Yates was looking to add a bear to the apartment. Holy: If Gothamist recalls, his apartment had five bedrooms and two baths - big enough for a large family, but certainly not big enough for a tiger, alligator AND bear.


Gothamist on Ming the Harlem tiger. And the Cat Show is this weekend.