ROME, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Police in southeastern Italy confiscated a Siberian tiger from the compound owned by a Mafia leader who was gunned down in January, officials said.
The rare animal that eats more than 50 pounds of meat a day was turned over to forestry officials for transfer to a big cat rescue facility from the estate of Lucio Vetrugno in the southeastern region of Puglio, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.
The 55-year-old Vetrugno was shot and killed at his home in a Mafia dispute Dec. 22. Authorities said Vetrugno had kept the tiger in a large cage at his home for at least 16 years.
He was a senior member of one of Italy's four largest organized crime families.
Police said in other Mafia arrests in the past, they have confiscated a large crocodile that was used to intimidate people into paying extortion, as well as a white python that was used to guard a large stash of cocaine, the report said.