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article imageVideo: Watch tigers splash at Out of Africa wildlife park

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By JohnThomas Didymus     Oct 1, 2012 in Environment
Watch Bengal and Siberian tigers romp and splash in water like overgrown kittens, chase playfully after inflatable toy models of prey with their zoo caretakers. Marvel at the absolute trust between these magnificent cats and their human handlers.
OutofAfricaPark.com explains on its website,
"The show is also very educational. Through the live narration, you’ll discover how instincts, intellect and feelings interact to form spontaneous, natural behavior."
According to the Daily Mail, the video shows zookeeper Jeff Harwell, 30, romping in water at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park at Camp Verder in Arizona, with a 450lb Bengal tiger Akasha.
The Tiger Splash event is a favorite with visitors at the park, and the educational content consists in demonstrating the natural predatory behavioral instincts of tigers.
The colorful toys, including giant balloons and other inflatables, are models of the prey. The zookeepers use them to elicit from the tigers the natural instinctual response to prey seen in wild tigers.
Tigers at the poolside at Out of Africa Park
Tigers at the poolside at Out of Africa Park
YouTube
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According to the Daily Mail, Kathleen Reeder, 55, who snapped the show from behind the safety of a wired fence, said:
"I loved watching the tigers and their interactions with the staff because they have a very special bond. The show features Bengal and Siberian tigers interacting in a predator-prey relationship of romping and splashing. It is unique, thrilling, and exciting."
Tiger Splash at Out of Africa Park
Tiger Splash at Out of Africa Park
YouTube
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The Daily Mail reports Mr Harwell has worked at the zoo with 12-year-old Akasha for five years. The two put on a half-hour show every day of the week.
Out of Africa Park
Out of Africa Park
YouTube
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Some viewers are wary of the friendship between predators and prey. Trepoopuddle Martyr exclaims in horror: "You're playing with fire... again. When will people ever learn? Tigers are wild animals, they kill, and will do so whenever they like."
Tiger Splash at Out of Africa Park
Tiger Splash at Out of Africa Park
YouTube
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Zen Chen warns: "I play like this with my cat. Then once in awhile he goes a little crazy and will chomp on my hand or leg. If he was a big kitty, I would be in big trouble."
But other viewers are enthralled. Kristoff101: "Awesome!!!"
Yazminjane: "The tigers face is brilliant."
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