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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tiger tug of war! Zoo gives visitors the chance to test their strength against big cats

By Rob Preece

The odds might be stacked against them, but there is no shortage of volunteers willing to take on a zoo's unusual challenge - to play tug-of-war with a tiger.

Visitors to Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida, are being given the chance to play with some of the most world's most fearsome animals.

In each contest, volunteers take a rope in their hands and a tiger tries to pull it from them with its mouth.

Scroll down for videos

Getting a grip: A tiger at Busch Gardens takes part in a tug of war contest with visitors

The challenge is called 'tiger tug' and several videos showing volunteers giving it a try have been posted on YouTube.

Even children have taken part in the scary contests, which involve tugging at the rope through a hole in the tiger's cage.

One video shows NASCAR motor racing driver Matt Kenseth, who won the Daytona 500 race in 2009, doing his best to hang on to the rope.

The challenge has been running for a number of years, but its popularity shows no sign of waning.

No fear: Even small children have volunteered for the 'tiger tug' challenge at the zoo

Heave: A girl starts to show the strain as the tiger takes charge

Pulling teeth: NASCAR motor racing driver Matt Kenseth tries to hang on

What a drag: The driver gets pulled forward by the tiger

Earlier this week staff at Busch Gardens put an invitation on the zoo's Facebook page, where more than 1,500 users have clicked to say they like it.

The tiger tug is one of the main events staged in the zoo's Jungala area, where seven Bengal tigers are kept.

Other star attractions at the zoo include cheetahs, hyenas, lemurs, meerkats, peacocks and elephants.

Popular: In only three days, more than 1,500 Facebook users have clicked on an invitation to take part in the challenge

Now watch the videos...



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