The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that there are over 5,000 tigers held in captivity in the United States as of 2010.
Although some are held in licensed zoos, many are held in backyards and urban apartments.
28 states in the US have laws that make it illegal to own a tiger as a pet, with 17 states maintaining regulations on the ownership. In some states, it is easier to purchase a tiger than a dog.
By comparison, there are around 3,200 tigers that remain in the wild in all of Asia.
Source: Matthew Knight, “U.S. urged to regulate ‘backyard tigers’,” CNN, October 21, 2010.