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Three big cats seized from Tarzan actor's Florida home

LOXAHATCHEE, FL - JULY14: Steve Sipek gives a bowl of milk to his pet lion July 14, 2004 in Loxahatchee, Florida. Sipek's 600-pound Bengal tiger, Bobo, who escaped his south Florida home July 12, was shot multiple times after the animal lunged at a wildlife officer yesterday, according to a state Fish and Wildlife spokesman. Sipek, formerly an actor who twice portrayed Tarzan in the movies in the 1970s, called the killing a murder. (Photo by Tom Ervin/Getty Images)
LOXAHATCHEE, FL - JULY14: Steve Sipek gives a bowl of milk to his pet lion July 14, 2004 in Loxahatchee, Florida. Sipek's 600-pound Bengal tiger, Bobo, who escaped his south Florida home July 12, was shot multiple times after the animal lunged at a wildlife officer yesterday, according to a state Fish and Wildlife spokesman. Sipek, formerly an actor who twice portrayed Tarzan in the movies in the 1970s, called the killing a murder. (Photo by Tom Ervin/Getty Images)Tom Ervin / Getty Images file

Wildlife officials say three big cats have been removed from home of an actor who played Tarzan in a 1970 remake of the film.

Steve Sipek had two tigers and a leopard taken from his home Monday morning because he didn't have a federal permit for them at his Loxahatchee home, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson was quoted as saying by the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Apparently there were violations related to the caging and fencing of the big cats, and also another violation related to commercial activity on the property. Authorities said they had been trying to get Sipek and his partner to comply, but they repeatedly failed to do so.

Officials said the cats weren't being fed the appropriate food, and there had been escapes and injuries, the newspaper reported. It wasn't clear who had been bitten.

"It got to the point that we felt it was a safety hazard to the public but also there were concerns about the well-being of the animals, Segelson was quoted as saying.

Sipek was arrested for having the animals without a federal permit and having them as pets, and the cats are being taken to a wildlife sanctuary.

The newspaper reports that in 2004 a Bengal tiger of his escaped and was shot by FWC.

It wasn't immediately known if Sipek had an attorney.