VENTURA (CBSLA.com) — Ventura County officials Thursday denied a request for a permit to house five white Siberian tigers used for Hollywood productions at a Malibu home.
Planning commissioners first heard arguments back in February both for and against the proposed facility located at 11077 Pacific View Ave., which would have housed up to five tigers on a 19-acre property in the Coastal Open Space Zone and included cages, an enclosed fenced exercise yard and an eight-foot perimeter fence.
North Hollywood resident Irena Hauser and and her sister, Sophia Kryszek, own the fenced facility where the tigers would be housed and said at least one armed staff member will be on the property 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“These animals are not pets,” Hauser said. “And they are to be dealt with in a proper, safe manner.”
A planning commission staff report describes the transport process as an SUV or truck being driven through a series of gates— with each gate closing before the next would open — into the fenced arena where the tigers would be transferred to a cage loaded into the vehicle.
The tigers would remain locked in the cage and vehicle until delivered to the job site, according to the report.
Parents like Malibu resident Nanette Bercu said all those precautions do little to reassure her that her kids will remain safe with wild tigers to close by.
“I think it’s wonderful they’re saving these tigers and so good to them,” she said. “But no one, absolutely no one can say human error won’t happen.”
“It just isn’t a good fit. We’re not against the people, we’re not against tigers, we’re against having tigers in our neighborhood,” Malibu resident Lisa Siderman added.
Ventura County officials denied the request in a 3-2 vote.
Sophia Kryszek told KCAL9’s Amy Johnson after the hearing she was upset by the ruling.
“We are very disappointed, yes. We did make a very good, strong argument and it didn’t work out so far,” Kryszk said.
“We purchased the property strictly to give them a bigger enclosure, build them a swimming pool – give them an incredible life that they can’t have in captivity,” she explained.
The homeowners have 10 days to appeal. Kryszek and Hauser did not indicate if they planned on appealing.