ENGLAND’S Ben Chilwell has been rapped by animal welfare chiefs over a tug-of-war challenge with a tiger.
The £190,000-a-week ace, who has a knee injury, was seen grinning with three pals during their tussle with the caged beast at a theme park
Instagram footage showed the Chelsea defender at the front of a team with a pal and two girls.
With meat attached to a rope they heave while a 20-stone white tiger pulls them towards the cage.
Girl pal Taylor Baker captioned the Instagram video “Tiger Won — We Won”.
It is believed to have been filmed at Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida, where Chilwell, 25, is enjoying a break.
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The attraction has run the “Tiger Tug” for several years.
A source who passed the footage to The Sun said: “It’s animal abuse.
“They’re not treating the tiger with respect. It’s just fun to them. It’s probably winding up the poor animal, who is being used for entertainment.”
The RSPCA added: “We don’t feel this activity promotes respect for these wild animals and should not be marketed for public entertainment.
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“Zoos often state that their aim is to educate the public and have a positive influence on visitor behaviour in ways that will directly benefit conservation.
"Whilst we understand zoos which do this may feel that a ‘tug-of-war’ provides physical enrichment for big cats, there are many alternative ways of doing this.”
Chelsea declined to comment on concerns that their £20million-rated star could have further damaged his knee.
Chilwell’s people did not respond to comment requests.
His rap comes after The Sun exposed West Ham’s Kurt Zouma for kicking his cat.
The defender, 27, was fined £250,000 by his club and faces animal cruelty charges.
Chilwell is unlikely to face similar action as there was no suggestion the tiger was physically harmed.
Hours after the clip was posted yesterday morning, separate footage showed the Blues star and pals larking around on a boat at sea.
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Chilwell stuck out his tongue and performed a peace sign during a drinking session which lasted well into the night.
The clip was shared on the account of Miami-based influencer Meghan Bishoff, who has been romantically linked to him in the past.
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