PARENTS

The Family Who Share Their Home With SEVEN Fully Grown Tigers

26/09/2013 13:08 | Updated 22 May 2015

Meet the family that puts every cat lover in Britain to shame. For the Borges share their home with SEVEN fully grown tigers!

It all started when dad Ary Borges rescued two tigers from a circus eight years ago and built a sanctuary in his garden.

Now the family - including two-year-old granddaughter Rayara - live, eat, and even swim with the giant man-eaters in their backyard pool in Maringa, near Sao Paulo, Brazil.

In fact, little Rayara happily rides on the back of the big cats, as this amazing YouTube video shows.

Her mum, Uraya, said: "Rayara loves playing with the tigers - she sees my dad interacting with them and she goes crazy."

Ary, 43, said: "I was never worried about my daughters co-existing with these animals. You have to show the animals respect and love - that's how you get it back from them."

The dad and his daughters Nayara, 20, Uyara, 23, and Deusanira, 24, walk the tigers on leads and feed meat directly into their mouths.

They even allow them into their kitchen during mealtime and let them lounge around the house.

Fearless Nayara regularly takes a dip with 35-stone tiger, Tom, clinging to his back as he paddles through the water.

She said: "I swim with Tom three times per week to help keep him in shape. He wouldn't get in the water with anyone else now - he associates the pool with me."

Despite having no training in animal handling, Ary began to breed tigers at his property to secure their survival. He hoped to boost their numbers to counteract the worldwide decimation of the species, and one day release captive tigers back into the wild.

But Ary was later forced to discontinue a breeding programme after officials told him he needed a permit. Now he plans to open a 40 acre ecopark in Maringa where his beloved animals can roam free.

But not everyone in the family is happy about being in such close proximity to the lethal carnivores. Uyara's husband, Rafael, worries that his daughter is being put in harm's way.

He said: "I think her interaction with the animals is dangerous, they can be lethal. I'm very afraid, I try to avoid any sort of contact as much as I can. I'd prefer her to be more distant from them too."

Ary hopes to get permission to build his park to educate people about the plight of endangered tigers in the wild.

He said: "Today tigers are worth more dead than alive. The claws are used to make lucky charms, the penis is used as an aphrodisiac and in China they use the bones to make wine.I want to own an eco park that focuses on always bettering the lives of these animals - I have a soft spot for tigers."

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