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Tigers Skin Diver

By The Sun Published: 21 Oct 2008

WE really love this tiger's feat - as one-year-old Balavan performs the beast-stroke in his pool.

Tigers swimming
Big cat dive ... handler Moksha Bybee swims with tiger Balavan

Trainer Moksha Bybee joined the 14-stone cat underwater at a US centre for endangered species.

Hand-reared Balavan has been swimming with handlers and fellow tigers Bali and Oden since just a few months old.

Dr Bhagavan Antle, of the TIGER centre, near Miami, Florida, said: "Swimming gives a closer bond between the animals and their human companions.

"Tigers have webbing between their toes making the feet like flippers. They are superior swimmers."

Front crawl ... Moksha Bybee swims with cub Balavan

Dive ... Bali - a one-year-old Tiger - takes a dip

Underwater ... Bali paddles along

Sub cub ... Ragani Ferrante swims with Balavan

Tigers swimming
Pool pals ... Oden, a one-year-old Liger, swims with handlers
Julia Mckenzie and Moksha Bybee

Tigers swimming
Big cat dive ... Moksha and Balavan

Tigers swimming
Making a splash ...Rajani & Balavan

Tigers swimming
Flipping amazing ... Moksha Bybee swims with Balavan

Paddling ... Balavan takes a breath

Drying off ... handler Moksha Bybee leaves the pool with Balavan

Water babes ... Julia Mckenzie with cub Balavan