Mike Tyson admits he once offered a zookeeper $10,000 to fight a silverback gorilla

Adam Hamdani
Mike Tyson once wanted to fight a gorilla: Getty

Mike Tyson has admitted that he once offered a zookeeper $10k to fight a silverback gorilla.

The former heavyweight champion of the world is a known animal lover and recently made the news discussing his past owning exotic animals, staking his claim as America’s original ‘Tiger King’.

However, Tyson seemingly has less love for gorillas than big cats as he has revealed how in the late 1980s he once told a zookeeper he wanted to climb in a cage and fight a silverback.

Fortunately, the zookeeper in question declined his offer.

“I paid a worker at New York’s zoo to re-open it just for me and Robin [Givens, his ex-wife],” Tyson once told The Sun.

Mike Tyson once wanted to fight a gorilla (Getty)

“When we got to the gorilla cage there was one big silverback gorilla there just bullying all the other gorillas.

“They were so powerful but their eyes were like an innocent infant.

“I offered the attendant $10,000 to open the cage and let me smash that silverback’s snot box. He declined.”

With big cats back in the news thanks to the runaway success of Netflix documentary Tiger King, Tyson has admitted that he regrets his history of owning exotic animals.

Netflix’s seven-part documentary series has provided a welcome distraction to those in lockdown during the global coronavirus pandemic, quickly becoming the source of an endless number of memes on social media.

The documentary charts the demise of Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as ‘Joe Exotic’, the eponymous ‘Tiger King’ currently serving a federal prison sentence on two counts of murder for hire.

Tyson, 53, is among those to have seen the documentary and has admitted that he was “wrong” for keeping two tigers at his Las Vegas mansion years ago.

Tyson cuddles his tiger (Rex Features)

“I was foolish,” Tyson said last week, on an Instagram Live with Fat Joe.

“There’s no way you can domesticate these cats 100 percent. No way that’s going to happen. They’ll kill you by accident, especially when you’re playing rough with them, you’re punching them back. They get hyped up, hit you back and you’re dead.

“I’m just happy I educated myself. I was doing the wrong shit. I shouldn’t have had them in my house, believing they were domesticated. I was wrong.”

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