‘I am their mother, as far as they’re concerned I’m mummy,’ proclaims 57-year-old Janice Haley.
She’s referring of course, to the huge pair of Bengal tigers that live in the back garden of her Florida home. Janda is a 12-year-old, 400lb female Bengal tiger, while 600lb Sabre, 6, is a male white Bengal.
Completely tame, the tigers cuddle up to Janice and even let her kiss them on their noses!
Since they were cubs the big cats have lived with their ‘mummy’ Janice and her husband David, who work tirelessly around the clock to care for them.
But they’re not alone, as a handful of locals also pitch in and help out.
‘I don’t get scared when the tigers are dragging me around the cage,’ insists volunteer Carrie Ates. She explains that Sabre and Janda have built relationships with their carers and are never aggressive, even if Sabre can get a little boisterous.
Janice has received a lot of criticism for raising her furry friends in captivity, and she concedes that her critics do have a point, to some extent.
‘It’s not the ideal place for a tiger,’ she admits, ‘but at this point in the wild there isn’t a lot of hope for them.’
Janice says that some tigers should be bred in captivity, or else the species could face extinction within a matter of years.
Hand fed three times every day, Sabre and Janda are certainly provided for and loved unconditionally in Janice’s care.