Tiger Compound Rejected in Western Malibu

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Deer Creek property owner Irena Hauser plans to bring up to five Siberian white tigers to Malibu to train for use in the entertainment industry. 

A plan to house up to five tigers in western Malibu was rejected by Ventura County Planning Commissioners on Thursday in a narrow 3-2 vote, the Ventura County Star reported.

The highly anticipated decision came after months of controversy surrounding the plans, which were proposed by sisters who train and care for white tigers often used in the filming industry. A hearing on the application was delayed last month after more than seven hours of public testimony was given, with dozens of neighbors and concerned residents voicing their dismay at the possibility of tigers being housed in a residential neighborhood.

Applicant Irena Hauser and her sister Sophia Kryszek sought a permit to construct a 13,500-square-foot exercise arena and enclosures for up to five white Bengal tigers on 7.2 acres of her Deer Creek property. Hauser told the commission her family possesses years of experience training and working with the tigers. Hauser and Kryszek own ISIS Preservation, which supplies the white tigers for filming in the entertainment industry. 

Three of the commissioners on Thursday sided with worried neighbors, arguing that the use was not compatible with the rest of the Deer Creek neighborhood. The two commissioners who voted to approve the application believed “all conditions have been met” given that the property was zoned open space.

The sisters were visibly upset at the decision, according to the Star, and have not decided whether to appeal the decision to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors.