A private zoo in Florida is letting visitors spend a half hour swimming and playing with baby tigers, all for a low price of $200.
Dade City’s Wild Things, located outside of Tampa, Florida, advertises its new attraction as "an amazing encounter" that includes "playing in the grass, bottle time and swim time."
The zoo charges an additional $10 for anyone wanting to watch the encounter.
The price includes a CD with photos and videos of the experience "including action shots and posed shots in the water with your cub," according to the zoo's website.
Animal rights activists are calling the practice abusive and cruel.
"The cubs are awakened repeatedly for anyone who will pay to pet them or take photos with them," said one critic on the 911 Animal Abuse website. "Cubs don’t like holding still for petting sessions and photo opportunities. The swimming solves that problem … because the cub has to swim for dear life."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued the zoo a warning citation for a number of violations last year, including an incident in which a handler forced a tiger cub into a swimming pool after the animal appeared hesitant to enter the water.
Although the tigers are small, it may be best off to avoid this sort of activity, especially when the conditions are cruel to the cubs.
Stephen Willard | Elite.