Tigers, Cougars, and More in the Back Yard

Miami's feline fringe is a vanishing breed

As Pajon leads Umba back into her cage, he regards the grounds with a squint. "If it was up to me," he says, "I'd get a baby elephant. Boy, if I hit the Lotto...."

The sunset is casting strange light onto the animals in Pajon's back yard. His helpers have all headed home by now. Rigerman wheels out the front gate. Before darkness settles, Pajon will release a trailer full of guard dogs to roam the property.

Rigerman is happy to know Pajon is around. At his age, Rigerman says, he couldn't buy anything new without knowing he had a place they could go. "And that's Frank," he says.

Alan Rigerman with Chaos, his cougar
Calvin Godfrey
Alan Rigerman with Chaos, his cougar
Anthony Zitnick with Chaos
Calvin Godfrey
Anthony Zitnick with Chaos

Meanwhile Rigerman is looking to purchase a baby serval. "I want it as a house cat," he says. "I'll neuter it, declaw it, and let it roam the house."

What about Oreo?

"They'll get along," he says.

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