In Missouri on Sunday, a volunteer at an animal park in Missouri was cleaning out a tiger's cage when the occupant apparently leaped over an eight or ten foot tall fence and chomped on the guy's leg.
Guess he didn't want the guy moving his stuff around.
Must have been something to see, an eight-hundred-pound tiger making a jump like that, though I confess, I would want to see it from a distance and behind a much, much taller fence. Inside a tank. With a working machine gun.
The worker will apparently recover.
That's scary, but you could reason that a fence taller than your ceiling might seem to be enough. I wouldn't think that, having heard and read tiger stories for years, but then again, I wouldn't be cleaning a tiger's cage unless the tiger was dead and long-since buried. And not for all the tea in China if it was alive and watching me do it on the other size of a fence that didn't go to the roof. Tigers are territorial.
There was some misdirection in this instance by the owners, who first claimed it was a pit bull that attacked the guy. They apparently killed the cat, hid the cat's body, cleaned the place up, and lied about it, and only admitted the truth later. (I image the doctor treating the wound would have wondered what kind of pit bull had a bite equal to that of an eight-hundred-pound tiger, at the very least. Pit bull?! Where the fuck was this pit bull? Guarding the entrance to Hades?)
The next day, that would be yesterday, in the same state, down the road a piece, in another animal park, this one called The Interactive Zoo and Aquarium -- formerly (and more accurately) called Predator World, in Branson, a sixteen-year-old worker was mauled by three tigers.
More interactive than I find comfortable. (Wild animal parks are apparently not that tightly regulated in some states, Missouri among them. Something you want to keep in mind while you are visiting one.)
The kid may not make it in the second incident. In the end, this is not funny, it's tragic, but it is also food for thought.
Several questions come up regarding this incident. First one that pops into my head is, Didn't the second kid hear about the attack the day before? It would seem to be fairly evident on the local news, and if you worked around big cats, you'd think it would, you know, get your attention. And maybe even offer some kind of cautionary warning ... ?
Hey, guy down Warrenton got bit up by one of their tigers, you hear that?
Yeah, well, that's Warrenton. Our cats wouldn't do that.
If you read about the incident here, a much larger question blows the first one out of the water. According to reports, the kid went into the cage with the tigers, to take pictures of them for a customer.
Excuse me, did I hear that right? He went into a cage with three tigers to take a picture?
Yep. Walked right in for the close-up photo-op.
I cannot for the life of me come up with a phrase that describes that better than "Suicidally stupid."
Teach your children: Do not go into the cage with a tiger. Especially do not go into the cage with three tigers.