Updated:ROCKWELL, N.C.,None - Leticia Ford and her 7-year-old son, Prince Jr., spent Friday morning at the nonprofit Tiger World reserve in Rockwell for a class field trip.
While the rest of the first graders left, Ford said she and one other family stayed around for lunch.
Ford said that is when a Tiger World employee offered to let them watch two tigers being loaded into this trailer for a training exercise.
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Ford said after the trainers put the tigers in the cage, "One of the tigers charged at the plexiglass and his head busted through, so I was like, 'Oh my God, he's going to eat us.'"
Ford said she and the other family ran and hid behind a cash register area as the tiger came out of the cage wearing a leash, without a trainer for several moments. But Tiger World owner Lea Jaunakais said that was not the case.
She said the tiger cub came out of the cage but was on a leash being controlled by a trainer the entire time. Jaunakais said although the cubs are involved in daily training exercises, that was the first time the two 100-pound cubs had ever been put into the cage and they were a bit skittish.
Ford said if that was the case, the trainers should have taken extra safety measures before inviting them to watch.
Ford said, "If you don't have something in place then you need to not take those animals out when others are around." When asked if they would do anything differently, Jaunakais said, "The next time we do this type of training exercise we'll ensure there are no visitors in the park."
Tiger World said none of their cats have ever escaped and no one has ever been hurt at the park.