Dade City’s Wild Things is a Florida zoo that allows misguided patrons to swim with tiger cubs. Owner Kathy Stearns claims that the swims are for “training” purposes, yet the zoo reaps $200 per person for a 30-minute encounter. And although tigers have no natural buoyancy and must constantly move in order to stay afloat, cubs at Dade City’s Wild Things must endure long, exhausting swims with strangers, even loud children. In addition to being unnatural and inherently cruel, forcing distressed cubs to swim with people can result in serious injuries to both, especially if the cubs struggle excessively. This practice can also contribute to the spread of dangerous diseases.

Alarming video footage  of these swims shows a cub named Tony repeatedly crying out in distress as a reporter prevents the frantic animal from escaping the swimming pool. The cub’s plight is seemingly ignored by head trainer Randy Stearns who is swimming nearby. Later, Tony can be seen in the background attempting to escape the water, only to be pushed back in by Kathy Stearns. 

In September 2011, Dade City’s Wild Things was cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture  for violating a federal law that prohibits the handling of tiger cubs in a manner that causes unnecessary discomfort or stress. However, the Stearns continue to offer these encounters, perpetuating animal suffering for profit. 

Please contact Dade City’s Wild Things and politely ask the zoo to do away with its cruel swims with tiger cubs. And then please forward this message widely!

Polite comments can be sent to:

Kathy Stearns, Owner
Randy Stearns, President and Head Trainer
Dade City’s Wild Things

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Article source: PETA Action Alerts

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