By Emma Clark
..A brave zookeeper has taken a real leap of faith - into a swimming pool with a fearsome tiger.
Daring Jeff Harwell, 30, dived into the water closely followed by 450lb Bengal tiger Akasha to the astonishment of visitors.
The pair amazed crowds with their ‘romping and splashing’ in the 50ft pool at Out of Africa Wildlife Park at Camp Verde in Arizona, United States.
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The Tiger Splash show is a firm favourite at the wildlife theme park, exhibiting the natural and spontaneous behaviour of tigers as well as unique interaction with humans.
Throughout the thrilling display the zookeeper and his assistants use giant balloons and inflatables to playfully tease the tigers, encouraging them to jump into the water – seemingly unnerved about any potential danger.
Photographer Kathleen Reeder, 55, snapped the Tiger Splash Show from a safe spot behind a wired fence.
She said: ‘I loved watching the tigers and their interactions with the staff because they have a very special bond.
‘The show features Bengal and Siberian tigers interacting in a predator-prey relationship of romping and splashing.
‘It is unique, thrilling, and exciting.
‘The crowds “oooh” and “aaah” as the tigers play with their caretakers and various colourful toys.’
Mr Hawrwell has worked at the zoo - and with 12 year old Akasha - for five years putting on the unique half-hour show seven days a week.
VIDEO: Watch the promo from Out of Africa Wildlife Park...