The owners of a childcare centre in South African have complained that the tots are too scared to play outside because the neighbours keep two white tigers that peer at them over the fence.
The owners of the small nursery school in the city of Boksburg in the South African province of Gauteng, names not reported, said the neighbours, identified as Matthew and Anneline Kruger, keep two fully-grown tigers just metres away.
They added that the situation has led to some parents removing their children from the centre, adding: “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 neighbour’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 owners said they approached their animal-loving neighbours, the local council and the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) about the situation, but to no avail.
Matthew and Anneline Kruger reportedly comply with all provincial regulations concerning the keeping of exotic animals.
Meanwhile, Anneline often posts images of the two big cats playing on the premises on social media.
Fiona Miles, director of the animal welfare group Four Paws, who was informed of the matter last week, said: “Tigers have very little protection under SA law, despite being considered an endangered species. This is particularly true in Gauteng, where such cases of private keeping are prevalent.”
Four Paws said there are some 1,500 tigers kept in captivity in the country with fewer than 4,000 remaining in the wild.
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