Ming, Harlem's famous 'apartment tiger,' dies aged 19

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The famous New York City tiger, Ming, has tragically died. He was 19 years old. 

Ming, who was born in 2000 in Racine, Minnesota, made headlines in October 2003 after he was discovered living in the Drew Hamilton Houses in Harlem with his owner Antoine Yates. 

Since being rescued from the home, Ming had been living at the Noah’s Lost Ark Animal Sanctuary in Berlin Center, Ohio.

Ming actually died 'peacefully' on February 4 from natural causes. 

According to the New York Post, Ming was cremated and buried at The Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in upstate New York.

A tombstone was also erected in the tiger's honor, with the engraving, 'Ming, Tiger of Harlem'.

The famous New York City tiger, Ming (pictured), has tragically died. He was 19 years old

The famous New York City tiger, Ming (pictured), has tragically died. He was 19 years old

Ming (pictured), who was born in 2000 in Racine, Minnesota, made headlines in October 2003 after he was discovered living in the Drew Hamilton Houses in Harlem with his owner Antoine Yates

Ming (pictured), who was born in 2000 in Racine, Minnesota, made headlines in October 2003 after he was discovered living in the Drew Hamilton Houses in Harlem with his owner Antoine Yates

Since being rescued from the home, Ming had been living at the Noah’s Lost Ark Animal Sanctuary (pictured at the sanctuary) in Berlin Center, Ohio. Ming actually died 'peacefully' on February 4 from natural causes

Since being rescued from the home, Ming had been living at the Noah’s Lost Ark Animal Sanctuary (pictured at the sanctuary) in Berlin Center, Ohio. Ming actually died 'peacefully' on February 4 from natural causes

Below the engraving, the inscription reads: 'Legendary NYC tiger, raised in apartment 5E in the Drew Hamilton Houses at 141st and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.

'In 2003, after three years of living in the apartment, Ming was rescued by the authorities and relocated to Noah’s Lost Ark Animal Sanctuary in rural Ohio where he lived out the rest of his days in comfort and peace.'

The final line on the tombstone says Ming was 'loved by many'.

It all began in October 2003, when Yates was taken to a local hospital after he was attacked by Ming.

Yates claimed that he had been savaged by a pit bull terrier, but doctors knew the bite marks were too big.

Police were alerted and officers were sent to the man's apartment building located at 141st Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard. 

They made their way up to apartment 5E where they were met by the most startling sight: a huge tiger peering from the fifth-floor window.

The tiger was being kept inside the apartment along with a 4-foot-long alligator, named Al.

It all began in October 2003, when Yates (pictured after the attack) was taken to a local hospital after he was attacked by Ming. Yates claimed that he had been savaged by a pit bull terrier, but doctors knew the bite marks were too big

It all began in October 2003, when Yates (pictured after the attack) was taken to a local hospital after he was attacked by Ming. Yates claimed that he had been savaged by a pit bull terrier, but doctors knew the bite marks were too big

Police were alerted and officers were sent to the man's apartment building (pictured) located at 141st Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard

Police were alerted and officers were sent to the man's apartment building (pictured) located at 141st Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard

The discovery at the Harlem apartment set in motion a commando-style police operation. 

They drilled a hole in the front door and used a remote camera to watch the giant cat lumbering around.

Then an officer abseiled down the side of the building to shoot the tiger through a window with a tranquilizer dart. 

At the time, neighbors told authorities that they were not surprised to learn about the mini-zoo in Yates' apartment. 

They told officials about hearing roars and reptile sounds, and that there was a strong odor coming from the apartment.

After being charged with reckless endangerment, Yates told a TV crew at the time: 'I take this from my heart, I feel for animals so much.'

Authorities eventually found out that Yates had purchased Ming from the BEARCAT Hollow Animal Park in Racine, Minnesota. 

During an episode of Animal Planet's Fatal Attractions, Detective Martin Duffy relived how the tiger was initially peaceful -but then charged at him.

'All I saw was his giant head with a mouthful of giant teeth coming at me,' he recalled.

'That's when I was like, "All right, I'm going to be eaten by a tiger",' he told the show.  

The discovery at the Harlem apartment set in motion a commando-style police operation. They drilled a hole in the front door and used a remote camera (footage of Ming) to watch the giant cat lumbering around

The discovery at the Harlem apartment set in motion a commando-style police operation. They drilled a hole in the front door and used a remote camera (footage of Ming) to watch the giant cat lumbering around

Then an officer (pictured) abseiled down the side of the building to shoot the tiger through a window with a tranquilizer dart

Then an officer (pictured) abseiled down the side of the building to shoot the tiger through a window with a tranquilizer dart

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