A few weeks ago, a Florida company made headlines when it started to allow small alligators to take part in pool parties across the state.
But alligators, it turns out, are so September. Now Floridians are being given the chance to swim with tiger cubs, MyFoxTampaBay,com reported.
"It's not like we're going to just throw you in the pool and say, 'here's the tiger.'"
- Randy Stearns, who is president and head trainer at Dade City's Wild Things
"Well, with any animal there's always a risk," said Randy Stearns, who is president and head trainer at Dade City's Wild Things. "It's not like we're going to just throw you in the pool and say, 'here's the tiger.' You're in there with at least one of the trainers actually in the water with you."
There are no clear laws regulating swimming with tigers. Florida state law allows for big cats 25 pounds or less to be handled with only a trainer's restraint, but a trainer must be present.
A customer signs a general release, and for $200 he can frolic for 30 minutes in the water, on the lawn, or even help out with his bottle feeding.
"The tigers by state law, like Tony here, can only be with the public until they're 40 pounds," said Stearns.
Keeping and caring for big cats is a hot topic in Congress, where there are two pieces of legislation right now. If passed, the bills would prohibit the private possession and breeding of big cats.
Only zoos, licensed sanctuaries, and conservatories would be allowed to own and breed large cats. We'll let you know if it moves through Congress.