A new program run out of a private city zoo will allow visitors to swim with tiger cubs, although for a substantial cost. Alligators are also an option.
Would you rather buy an iPhone or swim with a cub? Either option has the same ticket price at around $200. Dade City's Wild Things has just announced a new program that will allow zoo visitors to swim along side tiger cubs. Sounds dangerous? It is relatively safe, according to Randy Stearns, Wild Things president.
"It's not like we're going to just throw you in the pool and say, 'Here's the tiger,'" he told Fox 13 News. "You're in there with at least one of the trainers actually in the water with you."
And for $200, swimming is not all you get to do. The special pass includes a frolic in the grass with one of the cubs and a bottle-feeding session in addition to the swim. Altogether, visitors will be allowed a half-hour of bonding time.
According to Florida state law, visitors are only allowed interaction with big cats that weigh less than 25 pounds. That means no full-grown tigers in the pool. But some were still skeptical of such a weight limit.
"25 Lbs?" Mike asked on the Huffington Post blog. "A 5 lb. cat can tear you up pretty good if it wants to so what can a 25 Lb Tiger Cub do? Just look at the size of the paws."
On a budget? For a $100, visitors can score themselves a 20 minute swim with a four foot alligator named "Allie." The price includes time to cuddle with the gator and a photo and DVD package of the event, although no personal photos are allowed.
One user complained that the passes were inhumane. She wrote on the Huffington Post that "they tape it's mouth shut" to prevent human injury.
"That seems perfectly natural and humane too, no?" Chanda Porter wrote. "I really don't understand what goes through the minds of ANYONE that thinks that's okay or a good idea."