Tiger romp drawing crowds to McCarthy Wildlife Center

THE ACREAGE, Fla. - Jerani is one half of McCarthy Wildlife Center's new star duo.

He arrived just weeks ago, when an overabundance of tiger cubs at South Carolina's Preservation Station, prompted the relocation of Jerani, and his sister, Sauti.

"They're going to stay here permanently at the facility," said Mark McCarthy, the Director of McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary.

The cubs are getting an early start in showbiz, getting up close and personal with small groups of lucky visitors.

So far, public reaction has been overwhelming. "They're young enough where the public is legally allowed to handle the cubs. They can do that until the cubs are about 40 pounds," said McCarthy.

Like all child stars, they are not shy about voicing their opinions, but their careers as playmates will be short-lived. In just one week, they'll be too big to safely interact with visitors.

"There's just a short period of time where we can let the public come in and handle the cats," said McCarthy.

Visitors can still see the pair, who will be moved near the other adult cats in a few weeks.

In the meantime, their debut performances will help foot the bill for their enclosures.

"I think the Palm Beach Zoo was going to pay 5-million dollars to build a tiger enclosure. We're not even going to be close to that, but we can build a pretty nice enclosure for several thousand," said McCarthy.

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