There’s a tiger on my stoep

“You’re from Africa? Do you have lions in your backyard?”

We’ve all heard the clichè, even if we haven’t been asked it directly, and probably responded by seeing our own brains during the resulting eye roll. A family in Boksburg, on Gauteng’s East Rand, can however answer “yes” to that question – sort of. A crèche owner spotted a tiger peeking over their wall last week and later discovered their neighbours had two of the big wild cats.👀 That’s, er, terrifying, especially when you’re meant to keep other people’s small children safe. It turns out this isn’t illegal: animal welfare organisation Four Paws told TimesLive: “Tigers have very little protection under SA law despite being considered an endangered species. This is particularly true in Gauteng, where such cases of private keeping are prevalent.” PREVALENT?!? 😳 

It seems all you need to do if you fancy a pet tiger is apply for a permit with the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nature Conservation, as The South African reported; oh, and make sure your garden is big and secured. But, in case you need it said, please don’t keep a tiger in your backyard. It’s unethical, unsafe, putting a rare species at even greater risk – and we really don’t want the Americans to be right. 😕

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 7 October 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.