There is a world somewhere between reality and fiction. Although ignored by many, it is very real and so are those living in it. This forum is about the natural world. Here, wild animals will be heard and respected. The forum offers a glimpse into an unknown world as well as a room with a view on the present and the future. Anyone able to speak on behalf of those living in the emerald forest and the deep blue sea is invited to join.
--- Peter Broekhuijsen ---

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Animal trainers

Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 12-08-2015, 04:24 AM by peter )

LIONS, TIGERS, FIGHTS AND TRAINERS - III


d - Trainers

Most trainers got involved in animals when they were still quite young. Some were related to people breeding and training animals, but most, as far as I know, were not. Some of these 'outsiders' started as visitors in zoos, whereas others became interested after visiting a show. After watching the animals they had selected for years and reading all books they were able to find, some of them concluded they still had the motivation needed.  

Most animals trainers didn't go the college or university and then they did in that they worked for years to get to the knowledge needed. When they thought the time for action had arrived, they approached established trainers. Not seldom, they met with rejection. The most motivated tried again later and some were hired. They started as cage hands, slowly working their way up. Not a few worked with dogs and horses before they got a chance to work with big cats.

After many years of hard work, some got the chance to work with big cats. Some were noticed and had a great career, whereas others were hardly noticed. Some wrote about their experiences, but the great majority did not. Many trainers tend to keep to themselves. There are many reasons, but public opinion could be one of the most important. In the last decades, it slowly but surely turned against the circus. Many regarded the circus in general and animal trainers in particular as obsolete monuments of the past. Remnants of a lost era.

Pressure groups became ever more active. Journalists and politicians were approached. Those unwilling to cooperate were intimidated. In the end, to keep a long story short, it had an effect. In quite many countries in the west, laws were passed. Over here, a circus is not allowed to have 'exotic' animals anymore. As a result, one circus went bankrupt. Those who suffered in particular were the 'exotic' animals and the ones who worked with them.   


e - Books and interviews

Some trainers, as said before, wrote books. I read a few (less than 10), as there are not that many. The best one I read was 'Die hohe Schule der Raubtierdressur' (Hans-Jürgen and Rosemarie Tiede, Germany, 1997, 448 pages). Although only 59 (...) feature in the book, about 4000 (...) trainers were interviewed. To say that the book has a wealth of information would be an understatement. Many of the famous trainers discussed by posters feature in the book. Hans-Jürgen Tiede, by the way, was an assistent-trainer himself in both Germany and the US (bears, lions and tigers).  

The other books I read (including Beatty's 'Facing the big cats') were interesting as well, but I consider them as 'case-studies'. I posted some of the anecdotes some years ago (at AVA), but do not consider them as typical. When you want to know about 'typical', you have to read as many books as you can. There is, of course, another way to get to information.
     
Many moons ago, when playing somewhere, I met someone who knew I was interested in big cats. He had invested heavily in a large circus, knew much more than I did and adviced me to contact a few trainers. I did, as he had the keys to open the doors. In the years that followed, I interviewed a number of well-known trainers and one director of a training facility for big cats. He was the one really doing the training (most trainers, but not all, are performers) and he had handled many hundreds of bears and big cats. If there was one who knew about interactions between captive big cats and bears (not yet trained), it was Klant Hagenbeck.

Later, I visited a big cat facility. I got along well with the director and often visited his expensive paradise. He was the one who offered me the opportunity to measure and weigh a number of big cats. We talked for many, many days and I also interviewed him, as he saw much more than others who consider themselves an 'authority'. Same for a few students, who studied his cats for many months. The director of the facility had contacted a well-known trainer to develop an activity-project for the big cats. He also was interested in an interview. Some time before we got together, he was killed by a tigress in a circus somewhere in Italy.   

Apart from that, I interviewed trainers working for a circus that visited my hometown in summer. All trainers I interviewed had had mixed acts, but only a few had seen serious fights. The reason is they had a lot of experience with male lions. In order to prevent problems, they had decided to take measures. The result was zero fights. 

Fightwise, the one with most experience was from the UK. I met him quite by accident when I visited a circus intending to interview the trainer. She wasn't interested, but someone else was. I asked him to explain the situation, as I didn't understand what was going on. He said she was a performer (a good-looking woman, she was), whereas he was the assistent. He was hired to prevent problems, because she was working with male lions. And his trade was lions. His name was Tony Hughes. 


f - Tony Hughes

The interview with Tony Hughes lasted for two days. When we met, he was in his forties. Thick-set, powerful and fit, Tony was. He needed to be, as male lions want a tough guy at the top. Friendship, experience and ability are not enough when you work with male lions. You need something else and Tony had plenty of it. He had a lot of experience with male lions, as he was educated by Marcel Peters (a well-known lion trainer). 

He had quite a reputation as he had assisted many trainers over the years and I really mean assisted. One of them in particular, Graham Thomas Chipperfield, had a lot of respect for Tony, as he saved his life. When he was attacked by a male lion and dragged through the arena like a doll, Tony stepped in with a whip and a steel pole in his hands.

The lion wasn't impressed and neither were the others, who had come over to investigate the prey of male lion 'Sheeba'. Tony used the fork to push the male to the edge and Graham Chipperfield, by then unconscious, was released. When he realized his prey had been taken, the lion came for Tony. Standing over Graham Chipperfield, Tony refused to move and beated the big male lion away from his prey. The other males were kept at bay as well. Graham, to keep the story short, was saved and there's no question that it was Tony's courage that made the difference for Graham ('Die hohe Schule der Raubtierdressur', pp. 59-60).

Tony could have had his own act, but he was in high demand as an assistent and was fully booked when we met. 


g - Fights 

I asked Tony about his experience with fights. He told me he had seen many serious fights in which lions, tigers, bears and leopards had been involved. As I did not want to have an effect on the answers, I gave him a questionnaire I had prepared. We agreed to meet the next day. When I returned, I didn't read the answers. We continued where we had left it and talked all day. Before moving to the scans, I will summarize the most important answers first. All answers, to be sure, were roughly confirmed by other trainers who had witnessed serious fights. They were also confirmed by the two directors I mentioned. 

g1 - What will happen in an arena when 5 male tigers and 5 male lions of similar size meet?

Male lions will team up and attack the tigers one by one. Sometimes, two male tigers will be attacked separately by 2-3 male lions. As the other tigers will not interfere (they do not cooperate, because tigers are solitary animals), each tiger attacked faces multiple opponents. Only the most able and most powerful will survive the unslaught, but not without injuries. When the fight is not stopped, the lions will continue until all tigers have been routed, wounded or killed.

g2 - And what about 5 lions and 5 bears of similar size?

See the previous answer.

g3 - What will happen in a one-on-one between animals of similar age and weight?

Depends. There's no consistent winner.

g4 - Is aggression and skill in a fight a result of species or individuality?

Individuality all the way.

g5 - What about Beatty's experiences?

Beatty created conditions that favoured male lions.

g6 - Was he wrong all the way?

Beatty had to be preferenced for reasons of his own.                      

    
I could continue on Beatty for some time, but Tony, raised with lions, had a strong opinion on him. Beatty had been attacked by a tiger and was saved by a lion. He also told me that some of Beatty's male lions had been killed by male tigers. I will continue on Beatty after the scans.


h - Scans of the questionnaire

The handwriting is Tony's. The fat parts were added during the interview by a friend:


*This image is copyright of its original author

On the page above, Tony clearly states that there is no such thing as species-related ability in a fight. Skill is related to individuality. As he continued on individual skills and species-related treats for some time, a remark was added to underline that species really had nothing to do with it.

The page below has another question on species and individuality. Same answer as above. Fights were decided by many factors and chance was one of them. Different species fight in different ways. If you look more closely, bears could have topped Tony's list for skill and toughness. He, however, added, they, as a result of overconfidence, overplayed their hand at times:  


*This image is copyright of its original author


The page below has minimum, average and maximum weights of captive lions and tigers. Tony thought that there was not much to choose between an average male Indian tiger, an average male Amur tiger and an average male lion.

Large tigers, however, exceed large lions by at least 100 pounds. The largest tigers Tony saw (he estimated some of them at 800 pounds) were pure Indian tigers in an American facility. He was sure they were pure. These tigers were not mixed with other subspecies and were not used for shows, movies, exhibitions and zoos:


*This image is copyright of its original author



i - Hagenbeck

Another reliable source on interactions and size is Carl Hagenbeck. This is a scan of his book 'About animals and man'. I have no idea when the book was published, as it is a Dutch translation. Anyway. On this page (in Dutch, not German), he writes about a fight between a large male Bengal tiger and a male lion of similar size. Standing on their hindlegs and exchanging blows, the fight was stopped by a keeper.

Read again. A serious fight between two adult males stopped by one keeper. Remember it.  



*This image is copyright of its original author
 

This is the last scan of this post. Same book, page 167. Hagenbeck wrote that his father bought the first wild animals in 1858. The Bengal tiger, the leopard and the dog shared the cage and got along just fine. At the bottom of the page, Hagenbeck wrote that the largest and heaviest tiger he ever saw was bought in 1891. This animal was so wild and aggressive that he could not even be approached. It took him about four months to settle down and accept Hagenbeck, who later sold him to the Dresden Zoo.

I was thinking about the remark of Tony Hughes on the Bengal tigers he saw. Their size was exceptional. I take Tony Hughes very serious. Hagenbeck confirmed that some wild male Indian tigers reached a great size a century ago. Maybe the stories about very large tigers shipped to Europe or the US a long time ago were not overdone and maybe they, just like the Amurs, decreased in size over time.

But what will happen when you find and import a large wild female and keep these tigers seperated from others? I'm sure that inbreeding can be prevented when you add new females every now and then. Everything is for sale: 

  

*This image is copyright of its original author


To be continued (Beatty will feature in that post).
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(12-07-2015, 06:05 PM)Spalea Wrote: @ Peter: Great your explanations about the differences of behavior between male lions and male tigers ! That is the first time where I can read it with so much clarity.

Thus, if these differences remain in captivity, we can understand why the male lion is more aggressive  than the male tiger, and why the male lion can be often detected, perceived, as being more "extrovert". In a other thread about the Mapogo pride, you demonstrated that it could be very dangerous for a male lion to stay a long time alone within his territory. Because a pride of lions realize that could be able to eliminate him very quickly. In other words, the lions being social animals, it would be suicidal for a male lion to live like a male tiger, i.e. solitary. Except perhaps if he learns to be very cautious, elusive (like the man eaters in Tanzania). I don't know...

The male lion is the big cat who life in wild is the shortest one. Thus, as concerns the duration of their life in "top form" is very short (2-3 years). A male tiger learning to have an elusive and cautious behavior during his whole life can live (in wild) more time. Recently some photos of the big male tiger Wagdoh were showed inside a thread about the big tigers. He still seems very vigorous, robust. How old is he ? I don't believe that a male lion in wild can be as old as him, especially with his vigour (vigor).

Wagdoh is probably around 15 years by now.

The first time I saw him was 2007, and I was impressive by the stature of this male tiger. And he didn't look like a subadult male, but a large mature male around 6-7 years old.
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United States Pckts Offline
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Great stuff Peter, as usual.

I'm not trying to make the argument of bengals being larger than amurs in captivity or the wild or the other way around. But this trainer, Tony Hughes, has seen what he says were "pure indian tigers" which is awesome, the fact that he says they are larger than Amurs at maximum and all around the same size on average sheds quite a bit of light. We all are under the impression that Amurs are the largest in captivity, Beatty was one to say this, as well as a few others I have read and posted about. That being said, beatty, who said it, received his tigers from Roth or Proske (I always confuse the books) and he said the tigers were brought from Bengal, which very well could of been sunderban tigers or similar to them and smaller in size than compared to central and n. indian tigers who I never read about being used in circus acts. I know the book I'm speaking of, the trainer (Proske or Roth) trained both Beatty and Stark, his tigers where bought and sold throughout Europe, it wasn't till N. American Trainers started purchasing his tigers and lions that they were used in N. America, and I believe only a few were purchased then used to breed and sell throughout N. America, which I always thought was the beginning stages as to why we have so many N. American Tigers here now, and they are all so severely inbred and hybridized.
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( This post was last modified: 12-09-2015, 03:32 PM by peter )

(12-07-2015, 11:20 PM)GrizzlyClaws Wrote:
(12-07-2015, 06:05 PM)Spalea Wrote: @ Peter: Great your explanations about the differences of behavior between male lions and male tigers ! That is the first time where I can read it with so much clarity.

Thus, if these differences remain in captivity, we can understand why the male lion is more aggressive  than the male tiger, and why the male lion can be often detected, perceived, as being more "extrovert". In a other thread about the Mapogo pride, you demonstrated that it could be very dangerous for a male lion to stay a long time alone within his territory. Because a pride of lions realize that could be able to eliminate him very quickly. In other words, the lions being social animals, it would be suicidal for a male lion to live like a male tiger, i.e. solitary. Except perhaps if he learns to be very cautious, elusive (like the man eaters in Tanzania). I don't know...

The male lion is the big cat who life in wild is the shortest one. Thus, as concerns the duration of their life in "top form" is very short (2-3 years). A male tiger learning to have an elusive and cautious behavior during his whole life can live (in wild) more time. Recently some photos of the big male tiger Wagdoh were showed inside a thread about the big tigers. He still seems very vigorous, robust. How old is he ? I don't believe that a male lion in wild can be as old as him, especially with his vigour (vigor).

Wagdoh is probably around 15 years by now.

The first time I saw him was 2007, and I was impressive by the stature of this male tiger. And he didn't look like a subadult male, but a large mature male around 6-7 years old.


Lions

There are no lone wild male lions in Africa, Spalea. Not for long, I mean. A pride male can be for some time when he is defeated, but chances are he will team up with others as soon as possible. A solitary male doesn't stand a chance in the long run. Not in regions with many lions.

Man-eaters often operate in small groups as well. Solitary man-eaters often are desperate animals unable to team up or to hunt. 

The pressure on wild males in particular is such, that they don't last for long. This is not a result of genes (captive male lions often live for 15-20 years and most of those I saw, in contrast to old male tigers, were still quite fit and bulky when they died or, as a result of an injury, had to be euthanized), but a result of their way of life. In Africa, only the fit, no matter what species, stand a chance to get to old age. And old age is reached immediately after the best years.


Tigers

In India, tigers reach 10-15 years every now and then. Middle-aged male tigers, although not as active as before, still put on weight. As a result of their size, quite many can survive and even win fights. When they feel the end is near, they retreat to a secluded part of their territory. Some males reach 15 or even a bit more. Just before they die of natural causes, they often are thin as a rail.

A century ago, Corbett, as a result of a misunderstanding, shot the 15-year old Pipal Pani tiger he had known all his life. This tiger, 10.3 'over curves', was still as fit and capable as they come. Corbett thought he easily could have added 5 more years or even more. Wiele, a few decades before Corbett, wrote about a very large male in southern India. This giant was well-known by the locals, who told him the tiger was at least 20 years of age. There are more reliable reports about very old animals.


Lions, tigers and humans

In Africa, lion society is as tough as it gets. The competition for hot spots, females and food has consequences. Even pride males have to compete for females and food with the other members of the brotherhood. For many males, competition never stops. Never a dull moment.  

To get an idea of what it feels like, compare it to us. Today, many humans reach 80 and over. This is a result of good conditions and organisation. Just suppose the organisation breaks down and competition replaces laws. After a few decades, only young males operating in groups will be left. Only the very best would stand a chance to reach 40. This is why a wild male lion seldom reaches 10.

Tigers are forest animals. India still has a lot of forest. When protection would be taken seriously and the number of wild ungulates would rise, India could still accomodate tens of thousands of tigers. The problem is only a tiny part of wild India is protected. Most tigers live in these protected reserves. As food is no problem, tigers do ok. More tigers and nowhere to go, however, equals more competition and more casualties. Those that survive the unslaught often are large and bulky animals. This is why tigers in India, although not longer, are a bit heavier than a century ago and this is why more and more don't reach old age. It is not the rule everywhere, but the days of old age are largely past and gone.

In the end, when nothing changes, wild African lions and wild Indian tigers will face similar conditions. This will result in similar animals with a similar attitude.

The Amurs have more forest and face less competition. For this reason, they, in theory, should be able to reach old age more often. The problem, however, is very long and often severe winters, regular crop failures and mass migrations, 60 000 hunters with a license and, last but not least, wild boars and brown bears. They have to hunt them, because of the lack of large ungulates. As they can't hunt miniature boars and bears all the time (as this will result in energy deficits), they have no option but to hunt quite large animals. Professional hazards.


Conclusion

On could say that wild male African lions have to survive in a lawless society in which all participants compete for hot spots, food and women. As these objectives can't be realized by individuals, males have no option but to join a team. As soon as possible. Only the very best succeed to get to a pride and breed, but the pressure is such that old age is something they only read about in postcards from captive relatives. Wild male Indian tigers have a bit more room and time, but time is running out in most reserves. The result is quite similar conditions. 

More often than male lions, male tigers reach 10. One reason is they live in forests and can retreat when they suffer from a cough. Another is tiger society isn't about groups, but individuals. As tigers keep growing for a long time, older males usually are a bit larger than others. In a one-on-one, size counts.

Amur tigers have more room and face less humans, but many of them have a hunting license and the result is empty stores for tigers. This is why tigers have no option but to hunt wild boars and bears. Not small ones, as this will result in energy deficits (Russian winters are long and severe), but as large as possible. 

All in all, wild male big cats face very tough conditions everywhere. Those that survive are the very best. In Africa, nearly all warriors are prime animals. In India and Russia, you might see a few gladiators with a greyish beard every now and then.

Captive big cats are mere parodies of their wild relatives. This is in particular true for tigers. All attempts to rewild tigers resulted in dead newcomers. They just don't stand a chance. None whatsoever. Rewilding is possible, but only if it is done in small steps. The first step is to create a sanctuary with no wild animals close at hand. This will result in many fights and dead animals. The second step is to introduce a few wild females. The third is to create a sanctuary at the edge of a reserve with few wild male tigers. It will take a few generations to succeed.
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( This post was last modified: 12-10-2015, 11:41 AM by peter )

LIONS, TIGERS, FIGHTS AND TRAINERS - IV


j - Clyde Beatty


j1 - Career

Beatty was co-author of at least 3 books ('The big cage', 'Facing the big cats' and 'Jungle Performers'). I bought 'Facing the big cats'. I couldn't find the others, but read parts of these books on the internet. I also printed a number of interviews and posts I found on forums. Last but not least, I talked to those who had read his books (trainers mostly).

Beatty (1902-1965) was a big game hunter who later became famous as a trainer. Although he worked with different species, most know him as a lion trainer or a lion 'tamer'. He was famous for his 'fighting act', in which he entered the cage with a whip and a pistol strapped to his side. The act was designed to show his courage and his mastery of the wild beasts, which included lions, tigers, cougars and hyenas. At the height of his fame, the act featured 40 lions and tigers of both sexes. Beatty also was a circus impresario, who owned his own show that later merged with the Cole Bros. Circus to form the Clyde Beatty - Cole Bros. Circus. His 'fighting act' made him the paradigm of a lion 'tamer' for more than one generation (Answers.com).

One doesn't need to read a lot to conclude that Clyde Beatty was a very active and successful businessman who featured in at least 10 movies. He was easily one of the most famous animal trainers and there's no question that he inspired many, one of the these Dave Hoover.  


j2 - Facing the big cats

This book, written by Beatty and E. Anthony, also co-author of 'The big cage', is interesting all the way. Apart from many anecdotes, it has lots of observations on big cats and bears that most probably still hold. My guess is most trainers would agree on most points made. I would recommend it to anyone interested in big cats.

Beatty's intention was not to 'tame' the big cats, but to control them. To an extent, of course, as he knew the 'wild act' he presented appealed to many and Beatty was very aware of the audience. Although aware of the Jekyll-Hide qualities typical for big cats (they can decide to wreck to one moment and show deep and sincere affections mimutes later), he was prepared to accept the consequences. Although he knew they could not be completely trusted, Beatty wrote he loved them (pp. 15). Louis Roth agreed. He selected Beatty to work with bears, because he had noticed he loved animals. This was a feeling that could not be faked, he said (pp. 237-238).
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( This post was last modified: 12-09-2015, 11:18 PM by Pckts )

Ok, so it was Roth who trained Beatty and Stark than?

On a side note, in regards to wild lion and tiger ages.
I don't think the analogy of human age can be used, since the reason humans live longer now is partly because we no longer live by "survival of the fittest" as well as the fact that medication and diagnosis no longer allows death to take hold of illnesses that are minor. I:E: Common Cold, Chicken Pox, Infection etc. Being able to vaccinate these illnesses as well as treat major illness such as cancers or heart disease, etc. Is what truly allows humans to live longer and longer.

But I digress,  back to the point.

What age did Notch die at? I know you can find claims of tigers making it to 15 or older but realistically that isn't the case. Tigers that we know of are usually in the highest protected areas, even medicated by humans when sick (Ustaad, Machli) and the same goes for lions (the female slashed by the buffalo) etc. 
These aren't true ages, not saying corbetts tiger wasn't 15 or older or the S. Indian tiger wasn't 20, it can happen. But I believe it can happen in any cat species as long as the conditions are right, like a 100 year old human, it doesn't happen often but it will happen from time to time.
Its also very hard to even monitor a tiger for its life, just look at Waghdoh, Shivaji, Sultan etc. We don't know if they are alive or not, Waghodh at least was seen about a year ago so theres a good chance he's alive, but its still all hearsay until we know for sure.

I don't doubt that Lions live a hard life, but I don't think they live a harder life than other big cats. If we break down the pros and cons to a lions life compared to a Tiger, Leopard, Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar etc. I think we can find challenges in their lives that they have had to adapt and evolve to. Especially with the wide range of habitat an animal like a leopard, Puma, Jaguar and Tiger can live in. They live everywhere from the tallest peaks to the desert, to snow. If we look at gir lions, we can see that living in india is a different life style than africa, and I'm sure living in certain parts of africa yield very different life styles as well. While lions live a competitive life with other lions, they also live a protected life, their cubs are watched over, food is easily brought down, when its abundant and depending on the area, some places don't see extreme fluctuations in the temperature, some do of course.

I guess what I'm saying is this, lifestyle is very subjective, all wild animals live with their own challenges and that is why evolution has adapted certain species to only live in certain places, but I think we can find extreme ages throughout. Its just a matter of luck and health, if both come at the right time, you will unusual results.

Either way, tfs @peter, very nicely written, per usual.


One last thing:
On rewilding big cats, if you have an Instagram I very highly suggest you take a look at "jaguarsintothewild"
What they are doing is ground breaking and it looks as though they are successfully reintroducing these cats back. They teach them skills in a controlled environment but they never let the cats interact with humans, they give them large enclosures, enrichment and challenges they'd face in the wild, its still early and we all know it will take time to see if this is truly successful, but its a new tactic that may be beneficial for these cats in the future. Even Varty has had success with his Tiger Canyon project, albeit they live in an enclosed area, no idea how'd they'd fair in the true wild though.
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( This post was last modified: 12-10-2015, 02:24 PM by peter )

LIONS, TIGERS, FIGHTS AND TRAINERS - V


j2 - Facing the big cats (continuation)

More than once, Beatty was forced to find big cats that has escaped. Finding them often wasn't the problem: big cats never lose sight of the food problem and, for this reason, never stray too far from what they know to be a dependable source (pp. 42). Confronting and outbluffing them, however, was a different matter. On his own, he outbluffed a very clever and cunning tigress ('Gracie'); a tough male tiger who had removed the iron bars (...) of his cage ('Pep'); a large male Amur tiger very interested in donkeys ('Monarch'), and the 'brainiest' tiger he ever had ('Big Ross'). This Einstein, on his way to a very attractive hippo, was beaten with a spade when he came for Beatty. He immediately called it a day. Beatty wrote he hit him hard enough to stun him, but not with sufficient force to " ... injure that unusual brain of his that was capable of such brilliant analysis ... " (pp. 63-68).


j3 - About lions, tigers and preference

When I read the book, I often was puzzled by Beatty's remarks on lions and tigers. Preference is part of human nature, but in his book it is quite outspoken. Compared to the rest of the book, it doesn't fit. My guess is there could have been a bit more to it than preference. A few examples of what I mean.     

Lions, unlike tigers not involved in escapes, used most of their energy to question those who had the audacity to share the arena with them. Although he didn't actually say it with so many words, the number of fights must have been such that Beatty decided to remove the lionesses from his 'wild act'. Tigresses, however, were not included:

" ... Oddly enough, I have never found it necessary to dispense with the tigresses in my act for similar reasons. I use male and female tigers in the arena today as I did thirty years ago. The striped cats seem to have inhibitions that the less self-conscious lions do not have, and they reserve sexual relations for the privacy of the cage ... " (pp. 102).

The book was published in 1965. I don't know when it was written, but in the quote Beatty says he had had thirty years of experience. This means he knew that many tigresses used in his mixed act had been killed. It is beyond me why an experienced trainer concluded there was no reason to remove the tigresses from the act, when he knew that dozens had been killed by the brotherhood during the countless fights Beatty had witnessed. I also don't understand why a man who wrote he loved animals never missed an opportunity to inform the public about the number of tigers killed by lions.

When he was building a new act, Beatty bought a 6-year old male lion raised in Africa. The one who sold him the lion told Beatty that it was a 'monster'. Beatty ignored the warning and used him for the new act. He kept him under control for some years, but the lion later went berserk and killed two tigers. Why, I wonder, buy an adult male lion known for his disposition and use him for an act that has tigresses when you know that male lions will try to kill them at every given opportunity?     

Those capable of getting to statements on wild and captive tigers agreed that tigresses are very devoted mothers. They are known to be more than just a bit wary regarding strangers showing an interest in the cubs. When I was in the Berlin Tierpark this year, many visitors went to see the four cubs of the Amur tigress. They, however, kept their distance, because all knew the tigress, more than once, had made impressive demonstrations in the last months. On the cage, for this reason, was a strong warning to stay away from the bars. To write, as Beatty did, that a lioness is a better mother than a tigress, is very strange. It is the only remark of that nature I read and it strongly opposes all others.

In another chapter, Beatty wrote that tigers, if they don't achieve their purpose in the early stages, " ... give up ... ". This, he continues, is " ... typical for tigers. The lion is different. Once he commits himself to an attack, he is far more determined and much harder to shake off ... " (pp. 184).

The trainers I interviewed, however, agreed that attacks of tigers usually are not the result of impulses. Many, if not all, are planned. This is the reason they often are very reluctant to abandon an attack. Tigers who attack other animals often do so because they really dislike them. This observation, oddly enough, was confirmed by Beatty when he wrote that the fued between male tigers 'Prince' and 'Frisco' developed into " ... the bitterest fued between two animals I can recall ... " (pp. 220).

One more to close this paragraph. Beatty, more than once, wrote that male tigers, apart from a few exceptions in which they had a distinct advantage (pp. 286), are no match for male lions. The reason is a male tiger " ... does not seem to have the lions capacity for calm analysis and appraisal. This puts him at a disadvantage in a fight with a lion ... " (pp. 288). In a fair fight between a male lion and a male tiger, the lion " ... would win through a combination of superior power and tactics designed to get the tiger to wear himself out. The lion would fight calculatingly, and one of his objectives would be to conserve his strength ... " (pp. 289).

Maybe Beatty had exceptional lions, but to state, in a book at that, that a male tiger, as a general rule, doesn't stand a chance in a fight with a male lion is quite exceptional.


j4 - About contradictions

Nearly all trainers I interviewed had worked with bears and big cats. Most thought that bears, although they overplay their hand at times, are very intelligent and tough animals. They also were considered very capable in a one-on-one. Maybe even more so, I later concluded after reading the interviews again.

Judging from the chapter in which they feature ('Before they trusted me with lions and tigers', pp. 236-260), Beatty definitely agreed. But he also wrote they, to put it mildly, would struggle against tigers. Make that tigresses.     

In his mixed act, he used four Russian brown bears. They entered the arena before the tigers did and would often reach out for them:

" ... Not until they were clawed a few times did my Russian quartet become aware of the dangerous potentialities of the animals they had treated so lightly. The bears and tigers grew to hate one another. There was a continual growling and snarling when they were in the arena together. Bill (a large male Russian brown bear) was becoming a moody Russian by reason of three successive paw-cloutings and nippings administered by Nellie, a tigress that had no use for bears and made no bones about it. Bill never had a chance to get back at Nellie, but he had a fine opportunity one day to avenge himself on Lil, the other tiger in the act, and he took advantage of it with surprising speed and effectiveness ... " (pp 249).

Tigress Lil, as a result of a mistake of a cage boy, toppled from her seat to the floor. Bill immediately took advantage of the situation:

" ... Needless to say, the bear had a tremendous advantage in this brief encounter, but the occurrence astonished me none the less. While Bill was sure to have a big early edge when he attacked under the circumstances described, the chances were a hundred to one against his quickly getting that unbreakable hold. If he didn't succeed, he was a goner, for tigers are lightning fast and Lil would have quicky brought her claws and teeth into play and made an end of that over-ambitious bear ... " (pp. 249).

So what do we have? A trainer who had worked with many bear species was amazed to see that a large male Russian brown bear was able to survive an encounter with a tigress. An encounter that was a no-encounter because the bear had every advantage one can think of. He attacked her when she had crashed to the floor and got a hold that was good enough to kill her. If he hadn't succeeded, he, judging from the quote, would have been " ... a goner ... " (pp. 249). 

So now, suddenly, the 'lightning speed' of tigers, according to an experienced bear trainer, would have been instrumental in that it most probably would have resulted in a quick end for an animal considered as tough as any of the male big cats, if not more so. But the 'lightning speed' speed of tigers made no difference in a fight with a lion, as tigers have no clue about 'tactics' and 'calm analysis'. Of course they don't.

Although he strongly suggests that even a tigress is more than able to cope with a big male brown bear in a one-on-one (which counts if we know that Beatty was experienced with bears) and although he underlines it was a freak incident in which the bear had a 'tremendous advantage', Beatty presents the death of the tigress, disadvantaged by a mistake of one of his cage boys (meaning Beatty didn't take his responsabilities as a trainer very serious), as something worthy enough to include in his book.

Am I the only one who noticed double standards (in more than one way) of a sloppy man (not checking the work of the cage boy) contradicting himself on more than once occasion? A man who also indulged in creating circumstances not favouring tigers (see the previous paragraph) and, on top of that, took his time to describe, in detail, how a tigress severely disadvantaged by his slops met with her end? Another tigress?

I can only get to 'new dimensions in preference', but before we start on conclusions I propose to go to those who, experiencewise, might have compared to Beatty.
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India sanjay Offline
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#38

Thats wonderful write up and conclusion on Beatty. We certainly do not know about animals condition when they fought but overall As a trainer Beatty is questaionable
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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#39

Beatty is a perfect example of the sociopaths that work in places that hate. For example, there is people that work in veterinaries because they hate animals and try to get the worst damage to them, and other people that hate kids and work in daycare facilities just to abuse them (not only sexually, but in physical and mental ways).

It is more than obvious that Clyde Beatty suffered of that same problem, he definitely hated tigers, and based on his books, he was fascinating talking about the dead of several of these animals. His "love" for lions is tangible but like many hard-core fans, it takes him to a new level, even causing the dead of an animal that is under his care. His words lack any humility and regret.
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United States Pckts Offline
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I will go on to post about possibly the greatest Animal trainer I have read about

Louis Roth:

These are my notes from the book I read about him



"40 years with jungle killers"


-Louis Roth trained Beatty, Nelson, Stark, and tons of others (lots of Capt'ns and lots of other women surprisingly)
-he said "you will hear it said that a tiger can kill a lion, or vice versa. In my experience I have seen all theories exploded."
-then goes on to talk about tigers killing lions, leopard killing a large tiger, lion killing a polar bear etc.
-He says a polar bear is usually the toughest, and can usually defeat either big cat.
-Polar bears fight more with their mouth compared to grizzlies and brown bears who prefer to grapple and shove on two legs
-Tigers are quicker and more treacherous
-tigers fight on their backs more and lions prefer not to
-Had a wild lion named leo who he taught to wrestle with him
-had a tiger escape over a 16' wall and proceeded to kill as many goats as he could from the pen next to his, the men tried to remove one goat and the tiger was so tenacious it was latched on to the goat and hoisted half way up the 16' wall by just his mouth before he let go. He was the reason that Roth had to put a tarp over  his ring.
-had 3 lions in one pen and put a tiger in the other, the 3 lions roared morning till night trying to get at the tiger, until one lion ripped a whole in the partition and stuck its head through only to have the tiger snatch its head in its mouth and wouldn't let go until they had to stick a 2 x 4 in its jaws and pry them open. The lion was left a bloody mess.
-Lions will slap their tail, roar and stomp when they are unhappy. A tiger is impossible to tell, they will attack out of no where.
-Both big cats are easily deterred from attacking when you have something load or different in front of them. They both seem to be unsure of new things
-Wild cats are far easier to train than captive cats, Not why you would expect.
Roth goes on to say
"I asked my old teacher if he could train wild cats, he said he could"
"He then says that his teacher said you can get them to balance, jump through hoops etc.. but they will always be aggressive and wild, they never loose there fear of humans and they are always dangerous, that is why he thinks they are easier to train"
"he said when you are in the ring with a wild cat, you never are lax, you always no this animal is dangerous and will kill you in a second, with a captive cat, they will purr and be your best friend for years, and still they can snap at any second"
-he said most cats hate each other but can be taught to tolerate each other fairly easy, but cats and bears do go insane and loose all control from time to time
-he raised a goat and male lion together and when the lion would perform, the goat would blead loudly until his friend was returned to him, when the goat was let out to graze the lion would roar for his friend. The goat got a mysterious disease and died, the lion would let no body near, when they finally got the goat carcass out, the lion was so sad, they found a new goat and rubbed the smell of the old goat all over the new goat twin, and the lion wanted to play with the goat so bad, until finally the goat was comfortable around the lion, they finally let them in the same cage, the lion smelled the goat, looked around confused and sad, then smacked the goat to the floor, bit its neck and killed it.
He gives tons of credit to Mabel stark, who he calls "fearless" and says she has been attacked by the lions and tigers a few times and still continues to train both big cats with no fear. Calls her the greatest female big cat trainer he has ever seen.
-He needed a black leopard or jag (forget) to fight a Tiger for a movie, he didn't have a black leopard/jag so they had a smaller lioness who was next to this tiger and for whatever reason, they hated eachother (so roth thought) they were always trying to get at each other, so Roth thought they would be good for the movie and would probably just go right after each other. So they spray painted the lioness black and let her go in to the tigers pen and waited with film in hand waiting for a violent fight only to have what they thought was a hatred between these two specific cats turn into a absolute love fest. All they wanted was to play and wrestle with eachother which apparently is all they would do from the moment the met.


What this book opened my eyes to was this, these big cats were sold to the trainers mentioned above and taken to the US, where they were bred time and time again, it might be the beginning of the N. American Tiger and Inbred lion problem in the US today, sad that it turned into a free for all. It seems as though big cats and wild animals in general were an economical stimulate back then, they were an industry, animal rights were non existent. Much like womens rights or race rights, but like them, those rights were slowly given and so are animals rights. It gives me hope, I look forward to the progress of humans as a species.
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United States Pckts Offline
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( This post was last modified: 12-11-2015, 12:40 AM by Pckts )

I will next post about Hans Brick via Book scans from his book
"The Nature of the Beast"

I will only post about Lions and Tigers and the similarities and differences between them in terms of training.
Bare with me while I get the scans ready

Part 1
Training Lions

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*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author
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United States Pckts Offline
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#42

Cont'd

*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author
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United States Pckts Offline
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#43

Cont'd

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


That's it for Lions, I will post "Training Tigers" later today.
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Part 2
Training Tigers

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author
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United States Pckts Offline
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#45

cont'd

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author



Wheewwww,
all done. Hope you enjoy
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