Faces at the Fair: Felicia Frisco, tiger trainer

    The Bengal Tiger Encounter features seven tigers. Trainer Felicia Frisco trains and takes care of the large cats, which she says are really no different than domestic cats growing up.

    Posted on July 21, 2014 at 3:20 p.m.

    Felicia Frisco is one of the tiger trainers for the Bengal Tiger Encounter at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, which she describes as an educational show to raise awareness about the plight of the tiger.

    The care and training of animals has been in Frisco’s family for many generations, both on her father and mother’s side. That’s how she got into the business of taking care of large cats.

    Frisco said the most satisfying thing about being a tiger trainer is just being around the cats.

    "Just being able to create a bond and spending their whole life with them," Frisco said. "Tigers in captivity only live to be 20 to 25, so I’ve been lucky. I’ve spent 13 years with our two oldest ones."

    The exhibition also has two white tiger cubs that are only a few months old. That brings the Bengal Tiger Encounter’s total number of tigers up to seven.

    Even though her tigers can get pretty big, Frisco said they’re really like domestic cats. The cubs sleep in her bed, tear up the furniture and even play with her dogs.

    You can find more Faces at the Fair here or choose one of the two below.


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