Visitors swim with tiger cub at Dade City Wild Things - WRBL

Visitors swim with tiger cub at Dade City Wild Things

Posted: Updated:
DADE CITY, FL (WFLA) - Dade City Wild Things offers their guests a unique experience to swim with a tiger cub!

Dade City Wild Things says tigers are the best swimmers of big cats, as they have webbing between their toes.

Tiger cubs especially love the water. The zoo says when tigers are young they are slowly introduced to the pool where they are easily trained in the water, as they can be manipulated while floating. Training in the water makes them more comfortable with exams and treatments in their adult life.

Guests to the zoo can work with the trainer in the pool to help the tiger learn these lessons.

For Bjorn Lieliensiek, swimming with a tiger cub was the opportunity of a lifetime. Lieliensiek, a visitor from Germany, swam with "Tora" the tiger cub at Dade City Wild Things Tuesday morning.

The non-profit eco-tourism zoo charges $200 for the experience. The money goes to pay for the trainers on hand and the remainder of the money goes back into the program.

Kathy Stearns is the director at Dade City Wild Things, and says despite what some think, the encounter is not dangerous.

"We have full control. It's a training session," said Stearns. "We have full control of the animal. You have two trainers working with them. Two in the water, especially as they age, plus someone taking the pictures."

Lieliensiek says the thirty-minute session was awesome, although he admits, he was apprehensive at first.

"When they told me I could actually come and swim with a tiger, I thought it was a grown up one. I was kind of scared," said Lieliensiek. "When they told me it was a baby, I was cool with that. I really like it. I could stay all day."

See photos of their swim above.

Get more information about the Swim With A Tiger experience at Dade City Wild Things here.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


  • Don't Miss ItMore>>

  • Road rage karma: Florida man run over by own truck

    Road rage karma: Florida man run over by own truck

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:50 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:50:09 GMT
     Caption: Joseph Carl, 48. Alachua Co. Jail booking photo Caption: Joseph Carl, 48. Alachua Co. Jail booking photo
    A man in Florida apparently got a dose of road rage karma when police say he was run over by his own pickup truck after getting out to bang on another driver's window.
    A man in Florida apparently got a dose of road rage karma when police say he was run over by his own pickup truck after getting out to bang on another driver's window.
  • Watch the full "Fifty Shades of Grey" trailer: What we couldn’t show on TV

    Watch the full "Fifty Shades of Grey" trailer: What we couldn’t show on TV

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:43 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:43:17 GMT
    "Fifty Shades of Grey" fans, you've come to the right place. You saw part of the exclusive too-hot-for-morning-TV trailer on TODAY, but here's the full trailer for you to watch now.
    "Fifty Shades of Grey" fans, you've come to the right place. You saw part of the exclusive too-hot-for-morning-TV trailer on TODAY, but here's the full trailer for you to watch now.
  • VIDEO: Whale lifts kayakers

    VIDEO: Whale lifts kayakers

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:52 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:52:37 GMT
    YouTube imageYouTube image
    Dramatic video shows a 90,000 lb. whale giving kayakers a ride they'll remember forever. The video was shot by one of the kayakers and begins by showing the whale in the distance. 
    Dramatic video shows a 90,000 lb. whale giving kayakers a ride they'll remember forever. The video was shot by one of the kayakers and begins by showing the whale in the distance. 
  • Most Viewed Stories on WFLA.com

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.