Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Tiger Roommate....

'It's kind of like raising a dog': Teenage girl describes sharing her bed with a tiger called Will.

Florida teen Felicia Frisco has an unusual night-time routine. Each night she climbs into her full-sized bed with a six-month-old Bengal tiger called Will.

Felicia has been sharing her full-sized bed, which has a leopard print duvet, with Will since the day he was born and she plans for them to remain bedfellows until he's a year old.

'I get a lot of hair up my nose and all over my sheets,' said the Tampa teen, who has been caring for Will since his birth.

Felicia Frisco, 17, has been sharing a bed with tiger cub Will since the day the Bengal was born

'He likes to lick me a lot too,' she added. Will was bred in captivity by Felicia's parents who run an educational project called Tiger Encounter.

'It's kind of like raising a dog,' Felicia told '

'If you raise a tiger, it's normal to you.'

Thanks to her parents' profession, Felicia has been around animals like elephants, horses and an tigers since she was a baby, and doesn't believe people without proper training should be allowed to keep tigers as pets.

Felicia, who is homeschooled, has fed, walked and cared for the cub since he was born as his mother, a first-time mum, didn't know what to do

'My parents always say that you don't fully trust an animal, even a dog,' she added. 'You need to make sure you're aware of the risks.'

Will isn't even her first tiger bedmate.

Felicia previously slept in her bed with Will's father Daruba, until he turned a year old.

The teen, who is homeschooled, cares for and sleeps with the big cat as he was rejected by his mother, who didn't know what to do when Will, her first cub, was born.

She feeds, walks and plays with Will, and says her bond with him is like that of a mother.

I'm very protective of him and I always want to be around him. He was so small, and watching him get so big, it's kind of like having a child.'

Will now eats chicken and beef in addition to his bottles. Felicia's parents run Tampa's Tiger Enounter so the teen has been around exotic animals her whole life

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