The Borgas family’s unusual choice of pets means that they have a little more work to do when people come over to visit, but when you have seven tigers and two lions in residence, we guess one learns how to adjust.
ABC News reports that in 2005, Aryas Borgas rescued two tigers who were being abused from a traveling circus. He became such a big cat lover that he decided to create a sanctuary for these rescued animals at his home in Maringa, Brazil. The animals have thrived under his care, and he has added to the brood over time by breeding the cats. The sanctuary now houses seven tigers, two lions, a monkey, and a chihuahua.
The unusual part of the story is that all of the animals, including the big cats, hang around inside the house with the family, including Borgas’ three daughters. The daughters — Deusanira, 24, Uyara 23, and Nayara, 20 — all told ABC that they consider their home completely safe. Aryas says, "You have to show the animals respect and love, that's how you get it back from them."
If that’s the case, this family is clearly doing something right. The tigers slept in the family member’s beds as cubs, have been fed from bottles, and swim in the family pool. Nayara says, "Ever since the tigers were born, we have taken care of them, feeding them, so their instincts became dormant." She says she often gets her exercise by swimming with the family’s 700 pound tiger, Tom, and Uyara lets her 2-year-old daughter Rayara ride on the tigers for fun.
Aryas reports that he is currently involved in several legal battles with animal rights activists and the Brazilian wildlife authority, who wish to take away his right to breed the tigers as well as his caretakers license. He defends his right to breed the cats, saying, "Sadly there are so many animals dying in zoos that have no oversight. My animals are treated extremely well... we're preserving and conserving the species."
Do you think the Borgas family should be allowed to keep their big cats or should they be transported to a larger sanctuary?