A stop in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, for the inaugural Mexican Golf Federation Junior Open offered juniors a chance to see unique animals at El Tigre Golf & Country Club at the Riviera Nayarit that are rarely found on a golf course.
The 67 players in the tournament field spotted flamingos, iguanas, crocodiles, monkeys and other tropical animals, but these werent even the most exotic creatures. Tigers live throughout the golf course and the Paradise Village Resort property.
You may be thinking that this territory is unsafe for players, but the AJGA staff assures you its not. The tigers are kept in cages, but occasionally these beautiful animals are let loose.
There are three tigers, Chloe, Daisy and Diego, kept near Paradise Village Resort and Spa. Three others, Khan, Samantha and Lluvia Spanish for rain lounge around behind No. 17 tee on El Tigre Golf Club premises.
Jesús Carmona, director of golf at El Tigre Golf Club, has been working with tigers for more than 10 years. In 1997, Carmona raised his first tiger, Gonzalo. Since then, there have been 74 tigers born from six different females, but one is particularly special to Carmona.
Lluvia is a special one to me, Carmona said. She was born during a major thunderstorm, severely underweight, and we were told she wasnt going to make it. I raised her and fed her since she was born six years ago. She is like my baby. In the last four years, she has given birth to 26 cubs.
Other than the six Bengal tigers still living on the resort and golf course property, all the other cubs are given to various zoos or breeders in Mexico. Carmona works with an organization in Mexico that helps him find protective homes for these beautiful creatures.
Our Bengal tiger program may be the best in the country, Carmona said. Just two months ago we donated three baby tigers to the Puerto Vallarta Zoo.
Carmona and the rest of the staff who care for the animals all agree that these tigers are part of the Paradise Village Group family. After being here only a few days, it is easy to see why the Bengal tiger program run by Carmona might be the best in Mexico.