LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS... welcome to the big top blog of Douglas McPherson, author of CIRCUS MANIA, the book described by Gerry Cottle as "A passionate and up-to-date look at the circus and its people."

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Tiger trainer maulled

A Circo Gottani tiger

An audience in Madrid was reminded last Friday of the dangers of life in the circus when tiger trainer Danny Gottani was mauled during a performance by Circo Gottani.
YouTube footage of the attack, filmed by an audience member, shows the tiger swiping at a stick held by the trainer. The tiger then reared up on its hind legs and appeared to grip Gottani around the shoulders while biting at his neck.
Smoke was released into the cage to confuse the tiger, which was beaten off my another circus worker. Gottani was rushed to hospital where his injuries were said to be not life-threatening, and in true show business tradition the show went on after a short interval.
The mauling follows another attack in which trainer Alexander Crispin was killed by a tiger during a performance by Circo Suarez in Mexico, in February.
How does it feel to be attacked by nature's most feared predator? I asked Britain's Martin Lacey, who survived a mauling by TWO tigers during a training session that went wrong:

Martin Lacey
who survived an attack by
two tigers.
“Suddenly I’ve got a tiger on one leg, then another tiger thought, ‘This looks like a good game, I think I’ll join in.’ So the next thing I know I’m on the ground with a tiger on each leg... it had got to the stage where I thought I was going to become a lump of meat with two tigers fighting over me.”

The aftermath, says Lacey “looked like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre,”

Yet despite needing six months before he could walk properly again, Lacey was soon back in the big cage.

Click here to read my interview with Lacey about his remarkable life with big cats.

And read a full chapter on Lacey's Great British Circus in Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book For Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus. 

Click here to buy Circus Mania. 

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