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Ben Chilwell accused of animal abuse after a tug-of-war against a TIGER

Ben Chilwell has been accused of animal abuse after taking part in a tug-of-war against a TIGER at a theme park.

Chelsea and England left-back Ben Chilwell has copped flak from animal rights chiefs after engaging in a tug of war with a tiger at a theme park in Florida.

 Chilwell who’s currently nursing a knee injury was captured on social media tussling with the tiger who had the meat-covered rope clamped between its jaws

A source, who shared the video with The Sun, said: ‘It’s animal abuse. 

They’re not treating the tiger with respect. It’s just fun to them.’

An RSPCA spokesperson meanwhile announced the organization does not condone Chilwell’s actions.

‘We don’t feel this activity promotes respect for these wild animals and should not be marketed for public entertainment,’ the statement said.  

‘Zoos often state that their aim is to educate the public… there are many alternative ways of doing this.’

Chilwell has been out of action since November after suffering a knee injury, and was caught on camera during a holiday in the US. 

The incident took place at Busch Gardens zoo, in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Chelsea declined to comment on the incident, according to The Sun, and refused to speculate whether the poorly-considered tug of war could have set back his recovery.

The incident comes months after West Ham United and former Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma was fined £250,000 for abusing his cat.

Chilwell is unlikely to face a similar fate, as the incident took place at an attended public attraction and did not appear to injure the tiger in any way. 

The tiger, which is kept in a fenced-off enclosure, was seen pulling on the rope which had been covered in hunks of meat by the zoo’s caretakers but did not appear to have been forced into the act.

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