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Upscale Malibu Community Worried About Having Tigers As Neighbors

MALIBU ( — An upscale Malibu community is worried about a dangerous predator possibly moving to the neighborhood.

Deer Creek area property owner Irena Hauser has applied for a conditional use permit to open a tiger training facility, according to documents filed in Ventura County.

The papers state that the property plans to accommodate five white Siberian tigers, and the animals would be used for filming purposes in the entertainment industry.

The project also includes the installation of a 2,300-foot-long fence.

Last month, the county declared that the facility would not negatively impact the environment.

Residents, however, weren't exactly thrilled about their new neighbors.

"I think it sets a dangerous precedent for any neighborhood in Southern California where you introduce wild animals…predators into a residential neighborhood," said Dan Bercu.

Nanette Bercu said she's concerned for her kids.

"Feeding them, getting them to school, getting everywhere.  Last thing I want to worry about is if a tiger is going to get loose," she said. "One mistake by a human and a tiger can get loose. No one can predict that. No one can secure us from that. And there's no insurance for that."

In addition to the tigers, neighbors said they were concerned that the owner of the property wouldn't even physically be present.

"The owners are absentee. They live in Beverly Hills, so there's no way they're going to be here 24/7," said Dan Bercu.

KCAL9's Jeff Nguyen reported that approval for the facility still needs to go through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at the federal and state levels.

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