The other day my mom called and said "my friend says we can come today, let's go see the tigers!" Ok, so when I was picturing these tigers that are a year old, I was NOT thinking 300+lbs and HUGE beasties! And... they're only about 1/2 of their full size, they'll be between 600-800lbs as adults from what I understand.
And, just to clarify, these tigers are NOT PETS. They were rescued from likely being put in an "open range" (caged/locked) area for overpaid texans to come in and "hunt" to have a skin for their wall. (No offense to friendly Texans ;) ).The caregiver for these two tigers has over 30 that she is responsible for and has them at different facilities all over the place. She's also the guardian of other similar animals, to my understanding, and makes sure each is treated humanely and kept safe. I think there are only 300 of this type of tiger alive and she's the "keeper" for 10%.
The tigers' enclosure is HUGE and has a swimming pool, house, and lots of room to play. And boy do those sisters like to play! There's a double-chain-link enclosure with a big area on the side that's a double-gated (triple maybe?) entry into their cage as well as a "safe spot" for the tigers to go when their cage is being cleaned. Though they're "well mannered" and adorable, they did jump down from their house up against the chain link and scare the crud out of their momma while she was between the layers of chain link playing with them and talking with us. She says she has to keep her fingers outside the chain link when she's leaning on it because she doesn't want to lose one. By all means these are still WILD BEASTS though they are considered "domesticated" simply because they couldn't be reintroduced into the wild after the way they got their start in life.
The kids all liked seeing the tigers and even Emma and Micah were caught up watching them pace the fence by us. I think they were sure they were getting a little snack!
They also have some horses that came right over to have a nice little rub down. Kristopher and Grandaddy went right up to them but the babies and I kept a little distance so they didn't get nibbled on :) Plus... there were bushes to get through!