Last week, teachers at a daycare center in Johannesburg, South Africa, were taken aback when they glanced up to see a white tiger staring at them during outdoor playtime. The tiger, a pet of a neighbor, was perched on a swing set watching the crèche (daycare center). Game time on that side of the crèche grounds has been suspended since then.
The crèche owner, who wanted both her and the school's names to be kept anonymous, told TimesLIVE on Wednesday that they had since learned their neighbor had purchased two big white tigers. She has shot a number of photographs of the tigers from her property.
“That fence is not high enough and the tigers will jump. If they don’t jump into our school, they will jump into our other neighbor's house and, just across the road, there is an old age home. There are approximately four schools in this street so this is a danger to everyone living in the area,” the crèche owner said.
She claimed that she informed the children's parents about the tigers and that as a result, some children have refused to attend school.
She has addressed the tigers' owner, conservation organizations, and a local councilor in the hopes of receiving help. She claims that this has achieved no results because there appears to be no legislation in place regarding tiger ownership.
“At this stage, we feel like these wild animals have more rights than us,” she said.
Through their attorneys, the tigers' owners, Matthew and Anneline Kruger, informed Netwerk24 that they followed with all Gauteng provincial rules regulating the care of exotic animals on their property. The couple's attorneys claim that nothing prevents their clients from having a wild animal on their property. Four Paws, an animal protection organization, was also notified about the tigers this week. According to Four Paws, about 1,500 tigers are maintained in captivity in South Africa, despite the fact that there are less than 4,000 wild tigers left.
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