Mike Tyson Offered a Zookeeper $10k to Let Him Fight a Silverback Gorilla

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Mike Tyson is known for a few different things – being one of the strongest punchers in the history of boxing, face tattoos and his interest in exotic animals. Tyson recently recounted a story that highlighted both his interest in animals as well as willingness to take on any fight at any time.

Tyson’s love of keeping exotic animals is so well known that it has made its way into popular culture. In the now classic movie, The Hangover, one of the movie’s main plot points involved the protagonists returning a tiger they accidentally stole from Tyson during a bachelor party.

Back in the 1980’s, during the height of his career and popularity, Tyson rented out an entire New York zoo that he and wife Robin Givens could enjoy a private and romantic date. However, when Tyson saw a very dominant, alpha male gorilla bullying another group of gorillas, he got an idea.

“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,” Tyson told The Sun. “I offered the attendant $10,000 to open the cage and let smash that silverback’s snotbox! He declined.”

This incident was likely before Tyson became known as the animal lover he is today. The former heavyweight champ is now known for caring for birds and other animals as well as maintaining a 40 acre ranch in California.