How Big Cats Are Tamed


The performance with predators taking part in is considered to be the most dangerous one. The animal tamer unlike the other performers can’t use safety belts as the balancers or equilibrists do. On the circus arena an animal tamer can account only on his own stamina and courage.

According to the rules of safety there is always a gun lying on the crimp of the arena during the performance. Of course it is charged with the blank bullets and is aimed not to shoot an animal but only to frighten it with a sudden loud sound in an emergency situation. Though the lions and tigers which have taken part in performances for a long time and are accustomed to the loud sounds are likely to pay no attention to the shot.

Big cats hate water as well as the domestic ones and are afraid of tamer’s assistants using water cannon. The man with a water cannon staying behind the curtain during the performance is considered by the cats far more dangerous than the one holding a gun. The water is used is rare occasion of a real hazard according to the signal given by the tamer who grasps the situation faster than his colleagues.

Every tiger or lion is much more powerful than an animal tamer. In addition the number of cats taking part in the performance normally exceeds the number of tamers and their assistants. The experienced performers are convinced that if an animal decides to attack a tamer seriously nothing is able to help in this situation.

The predators always attack from the back. The main rule of animal training is never to stand with your back to the cats. However it is often violated by the tamers during their performances. The circus arena is round and they have no right to neglect any spectator. Every viewer should leave circus with the best impression. The mistakes made during the performance often have serious consequences. If one of the lions or tigers attacks its tamer it should be transported to the zoo and remain there. But that means the performance scheme should be alternated and the missing part should be played by another animal. To bring up a tiger or a lion since they have been cubs is a hard and expensive process. That’ why many tamers forgive their animals and continue working with them taking huge risks to be attacked again.

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1 Comment

Filed under Animal Facts

One response to “How Big Cats Are Tamed

  1. NF Hannibal

    I want a bear – my dogs (rottweiler and pyrenean mountain dog) seem pretty close actually, but I am curious to see how hard it is to raise a bear cub… probably won’t though

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