SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Mike Holston, a zookeeper in Miami who is known as “The Real Tarzann” on social media for his wildlife conservation efforts, has been arrested for burglary and assault.
The incident happened outside of Tarzana, Holston’s home in Southwest Miami-Dade, Friday. The social media sensation was arrested at the Preserve Farm, at 6000 SW 118th Ave., at around 1:30 p.m., later that day.
According to police, Holston, 25, got into an intense argument with Jason Leon, a python hunter associated with the Zoological Wildlife Foundation in Miami-Dade. Leon is known for wrestling with record-setting pythons, and Holston was a volunteer at the foundation.
The fight escalated to where Holston battered Leon several times, according to the arrest report.
Hector Zelaya, a friend of Leon’s, attempted to intervene and stop the fight, but Holston punched him with a closed fist and chipped his tooth.
Leon got into his car and tried to call police, but Holston allegedly lunged into the car through the front passenger window and continued to hit him.
Holston faces multiple charges, including felony burglary with assault or battery and battery.
The 25-year-old rose to social media stardom because of his travels around the world in search of animal encounters and posting his experiences online. On his Instagram of 5.8 million followers, he shares everything from play fighting with ferocious felines to pushups with primates.
His YouTube channel has garnered over 512,000 subscribers and hosts viral videos of him interacting with various animals all over the world, including chimps, reptiles and sharks.
In January 2018, Holston rescued 233 iguanas from cold weather in South Florida and found homes for all of them.
Over the weekend, a judge ordered that Holston be held without bond and issued a stay-away order from Leon and Zelaya.
Holston will remain in jail because the burglary charge was combined with the charge of battery, which is a non-bondable offense.
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