A Los Angeles–area man has been charged with illegally possessing and mistreating a tiger cub that appeared in one of Logan Paul's videos on YouTube.
Nicholas Perkins, 32, was charged with four criminal counts, including illegal possession of a tiger, mistreatment of a tiger, and possession of anabolic steroids. If convicted, he could get up to two-and-a-half-years in jail.
In the 2017 video titled “Kong Meets A Baby Tiger! **Showdown**”, Paul — who was met with widespread disdain after his infamous "suicide forest" video — said he was excited to learn that someone in Los Angeles had a baby tiger and wanted to meet his dog Kong, a small Pomeranian.
“It’s not a great idea, but it's definitely entertainment,” Paul said to the camera while driving. “Kong has never met a tiger. We want Kong to meet the tiger. It’s a baby tiger, how big can it be?”
Upon arriving at a house, the baby tiger can be seen huddled by a wall outside next to a swimming pool.
“I just got a house, super cool, but I think I am going to return the house and invest in baby tigers,” Paul said as he pet the tiger.
Paul then put his dog down and laughed as Kong tried to hide from the larger cub as it made growling noises. More than 8 million people watched the video.
Officials said they were alerted to an illegal tiger cub in October 2017 by an anonymous tip to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which used Paul’s video to track Perkins down.
During a search of the property, authorities said they discovered “extensive evidence of the animal’s poor living conditions and the presence of anabolic steroids.” Perkins, they added, was allegedly feeding the tiger cub kitten milk replacement formula with a baby bottle.
The tiger cub was seized by authorities and placed in a large cat rescue and sanctuary where officials say it has made a full recovery.
“Tigers and other exotic animals are not pets,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said in announcing the charges on Wednesday. “Keeping these potentially dangerous animals in a residential setting poses a serious safety risk for residents and animals alike. My office will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure these treasured creatures are safe and those who illegally keep them are held accountable.”
Paul’s rep did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.
Nicholas Perkins’ name was misstated in an earlier version of this post.