Steve Sipek, former star of a Spanish Tarzan flick and all around badass, wants his pet tigers and leopard back. But that's proving difficult.
Earlier this year, Florida Fish and Wildlife and Conservation Commission officials seized the animals from his Loxahatchee property and arrested the actor, whose past roles include playing a vicious mutant turkey in Blood Freak.
A woman named Melanie Boynes, who lives on Sipek's property, has now gone to court to demand that FWC return the animals. It's a tough fight, especially given that a few years back, a 600-pound tiger broke out of Sipek's property and was gunned down by local police.
Sipek has an affinity for big cats, in no small part because a lion once pulled him from an inferno that charred 90 percent of his body while all the humans on the movie set ran away like giant babies and left him for dead.
The recently seized cats have health problems, including tumors, and Boynes has argued on behalf of Sipek that the nonprofit Tarzan's Big Cat Sanctuary is ready to provide adequate shelter and care for the animals. Boynes is seeking the proper permits to keep the animals on the property, but FWC isn't keen on the idea.
So where exactly does the FWC stash seized tigers and leopards? FWC spokeswoman Carli Segelson says it's a secret even she doesn't know the answer to. Because the investigation is ongoing, the agency can't release the location of the animals, Segelson says.
"The health and safety of the animals is a priority to FWC, and we're making sure they're well taken care of," Segelson says.
Segelson adds that Boynes' application for the permits was denied due to past caging violations.
Sipek's lawyer didn't return numerous calls from New Times.
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