Tyson won't face ferret charges

Friday, December 10th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Mike Tyson won't have ferret neglect charges on his record. Authorities say they won't charge the former heavyweight champion with neglecting two ferrets at his Las Vegas home -- mostly because they don't know who was supposed to be taking care of the animals.

"We cannot prove who the caretaker was," said Donna Rosenberg of the Clark County District Attorney's office. "We believe that the ferrets were neglected, but Mike Tyson was not at home -- nor present during the incident. He left them in the care of other people, and it's really unclear who was really responsible."

One of Tyson's personal assistants stepped forward earlier to claim ownership of the two ferrets. The animals caused a stir after one was found dead and the other malnourished at Tyson's estate last month. Tyson assistant Darryl Francis said he was the one caring for the ferrets and sought aid when they appeared sick.

Francis said Tyson gave him the ferrets two years ago and that they lived in a cage in a weightlifting room at Tyson's estate. "Mike ain't no ferret abuser," Francis said earlier this week. Rosenberg said as a sign of good faith Francis agreed to donate $1,000 to the ferret rescue group that he called to Tyson's estate to get the ferrets.