Book your opportunity to swim with a tiger cub while you can at Dade City’s Wild Things!
No, there is no need to adjust your monitor settings, the title is correct! Dade City’s Wild Things is a zoo located about an hour from Orlando. The zoo is known for many things including their large cats, animal interactions, and their newest pull is the opportunity to swim with a white Bengal tiger cub named Luna! I traveled to Dade City to check out the swim interaction as well as see the other babies that call Dade City’s Wild Things their home!
Swim With Luna
Located in the heart of Dade City, I pulled up to a house with a Wild Things banner on the front. As I opened the door, I knew I was in the right place as I was greeted by birds and other smaller animals. After checking in, I was directed to a trolley to take me to the actual location of the zoo (which was about a 5 minute drive). Once I stepped off the bus I was greeted by a volunteer and taken to meet the trainer for my swim and interaction with Luna.
My swim took place in the show arena where some of the big cats do shows with Randy, the tiger man. After washing my hands and making sure I was ready to get into the water, we entered the arena and were sat down in a shade area while the trainer got Luna. She first brought out a ton of toys for us to play with Luna, followed by a beautiful baby tiger! Luna came right up to us and got a good feel for us and what we were about.
During play time, the trainer answered my questions, told me more about Dade City’s Wild Things and also about their conservation efforts. Luna loved playing with her toys and interacting with me during this session. I also had the chance to help bottle feed her which was a cool experience. After about 20 minutes playing it was time to jump into the pool.
Once I was settled in the water with the trainer, Luna jumped in to have some fun inside the water. Tigers cannot float, so the trainer had to help keep Luna up while she was not swimming. After some instructions I was swimming laps with Luna by my side. No personal photos are allowed at Dade City’s Wild Things but they do have a photographer who documents the entire encounter for you!
After swimming some laps it was time to say goodbye to Luna outside the pool! Luna was just a delight to interact with. She was fun loving, inquisitive, and very sweet! I was also amazed by just how much she seemed to love the water!
Baby Fever At Dade City’s Wild Things
Yes, I do have baby fever so when I had the opportunity to meet the newest babies I of course said yes! I started out by meeting a Geoffroy’s Kitten. A Geoffroy is a small cat species that is found in South America. These cats look similar to a cat you would find in your house, however these cats are definitely wild! We played with some toys with the kitten for a few minutes at the table and had some chances to pet and love on her as well!
We then met one of two white handed Gibbon Apes. This little guy melted my heart away! When she brought him out, he had the cutest face and hands. I had the opportunity to hold him, play with him for a bit and get some great photos!
Details on Dade City’s Wild Things
To see more about Wild Things and to book your tours, make sure to check out their website here! The swim with the tiger program is for a limited time due to regulations of interaction with big cats and will be done around Thanksgiving of this year! Make sure to book your spot ASAP to get this opportunity! Lastly, in case your wondering where the proceeds go, they are put back into rehab of the animals as well as the Endangered Species Conservation Fund!
I would like to thank Dade City’s Wild Things for having me out for this once in a lifetime opportunity!