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Animal trainers

Switzerland Spalea Online
Wildanimal Lover


Sorry but I don't like and respect the Hans Brick's book. What he wrote is completely biased towards tiger, and I can't stand the persons who are describing the lion as being a big cat and the tiger as being the "super" big cat, a much more physically performing (and fascinating of course) big cat than the lion. A few exemples:

The tiger's lungs are much bigger than the lion's ones (#44, beginning of the chapter 7): what is this crap ? Did he make any measure ? That is an assertion not argumented. In wild the tiger is much more an ambush predator than the lion which lives in open plains. Thus the tiger is much faster than the lion in the first twenty meters of running, the lion being the fastest over hundred meters (Schaller who had studied both felids in wild during the sixties and seventies). But nobody else has pretended such an assertion.

p.65: "the male lion is a blusterer and his roar may mean very little... and the roar of a tiger is the most terrifing sound in the nature": crap. Of course  he is allowed to prefer the tiger, but this author is constantly denigrating the lion when he confronts the both felids.

Another exemples ?: "the lion is the prototyp of all henpecks when he is with a lioness in season". OK men you have understood, this "author" being a full anthropomorphic "zoologist" doesn't like the lions. I completely discredit him, in my own opinion this man is a tacky one...
That is easy to bash the lion, almost all people like to do that (the lion is ridiculous and the tiger is always the most performing supercat you can never imagine)... That is always free and never argumented.
Truly, who can take this "teamer" seriously ? Not I. When Peter, in this thread, spoke about Hagenbeck, this teamer was, by far, much more credible and interesting.

Yes, I admit to prefer the lion, but I want to be honest, objective. When the forumer you have banned ("Counter") bashed the tiger confronted the lion I found that completely ridiculous and biased for evident reasons... But I would expect similar reactions when and if conversely.
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India sanjay Offline
Wildanimal Enthusiast

@Spalea , We assured you we will not let it L vs T. We all love Lion and Tiger equally.
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Switzerland Spalea Online
Wildanimal Lover


No problem Sanjay ! You're sincere and I trust you completely... That is why I am fond of this site about wild animals .

I only criticized this author - who seems me outrageous towards lions, - and the natural tendancy among people which consists of uttering some string of commonplaces like "male lion is lazy and does nothing but sleep, only the lioness is active", "Tiger is the only one most beautiful, powerful big cat" and so on... The nature hates the Useless and the imbalances...
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United States Pckts Offline
Bigcat Enthusiast
( This post was last modified: 12-11-2015, 10:02 PM by Pckts )

You're open to your opinion, but remember, he never remarks about speed or lung size. Simply makes observations he has seen, no different than Beatty, Roth, proske, etc. 
just so you know, there has never been a single study on speed of either cat compared to another. 
2nd he simply states that tigers have "stronger lungs" and he says that the "heavy bodied" lion wears himself out quickly.
3rd it's pretty well quoted throughout trainers that tigers are a bit more agile while lions are a bit more rigid. It's not a lion vs tiger topic, it's an observation he attributes specifically to their wild counter parts and the needs they have in the wild, which he had much experience with. He is by far, one of the least biased trainers I have ever read about and a very good one. He stays away from the fight topic and just writes about the different requirements of these animals.

I think you're being a bit sensitive, I really don't find anything he wrote to be biased towards either cat, remember this isn't counter only posting lion vs tiger accounts that favor the lion then denying any tiger defeating lions via lying. Which is why he was banned.
This is just another trainer I have read about and like what he says. People only post about Beatty because he was the most outlandish when it came to speaking on lion v tiger, but he was just one trainer of 100s who have just as much expierence and stories, and their word is just as meaningful.
So long story short, I don't think anybody minds a comparison or fight story, or observation as long as it ties into the trainer and isn't the only thing posted.
I can't speak for the mods but I think that they prefer a good example of a trainer, methods and observations as long as it isn't with an alterior motive.
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India sanjay Offline
Wildanimal Enthusiast

@Pckts , Please hold on. For the same reason we have deleted the posts of Counter. As it was also just link of old articles and newspaper. Its everyone personnel preference which trainer they trust and which they hate. All these are old things.
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United States Pckts Offline
Bigcat Enthusiast
( This post was last modified: 12-11-2015, 10:17 PM by Pckts )

No worries Sanjay, feel free to remove my previous post if you think it will create unwanted debates.

Netherlands peter Offline
Expert & Researcher
( This post was last modified: 12-14-2015, 04:15 PM by peter )

(12-11-2015, 06:50 PM)Spalea Wrote: @sanjay:

No problem Sanjay ! You're sincere and I trust you completely... That is why I am fond of this site about wild animals .

I only criticized this author - who seems me outrageous towards lions, - and the natural tendancy among people which consists of uttering some string of commonplaces like "male lion is lazy and does nothing but sleep, only the lioness is active", "Tiger is the only one most beautiful, powerful big cat" and so on... The nature hates the Useless and the imbalances...

Thanks for the info, Spalea. We understand, take it seriously and will act accordingly.

Here's some things to consider regarding forums and human interaction. Before you start, I want you to know it is not personal. Now imagine you are the one running a forum. Ok?     

1 - Humans and preference
We known that humans and preference are very strongly connected. Trainers often are not that different from posters. Same for biologists, politicians and all others. Just the way it is and it will never change.

2 - How to deal with preference on a forum?

My take is we need to learn to deal with it. The best way to start is to contact your 'enemies' right away and start training. Read books of preferenced tiger or lion trainers and when they start on the qualities of their favourites and degrade the other cat just add a bit of salt. I thought Beatty's book was very interesting in spite of his preference (and mine). Most of us, if not all, have something to say that is of interest. In many cases, preference or something very close to it is the drive for human action.

3 - The policy of WildFact

It is admittedly not easy to learn how to use preference in the most productive way. Many of us will never quite master it. What shall we do in order to prevent problems? Avoid ideas and books we don't like? Or should we decide for a different approach? 

We want good information and good debates. Debates are needed to assess the value and reach of information. They also are needed to learn how to use information in the best way. The way we see it is: No debates = no opposing views = no exchange of ideas = no development = no knowledge = swimming in circles.

This was typical for the Middle Ages and it resulted in lots of circles and no fundamental progress for hundreds of years. Those who had the audacity to ask questions or published a few ideas not to the liking of those in control were faced with the Inquisition. This resulted in torture, pleading guilty and being roasted on a fire in most cases. A scenarion good for some and bad for most.

But this policy surely is out today? No. 

I propose to go to a region divided by a river loaded with big crocs and no bridges. When they want to see their relatives, people just swim to the other side. When one is taken by a croc, the conclusions is he was a 'bad' man. This attitude will result in lots of 'magicians' able to 'communicate' with crocs in order to get people across the river without too much loss of life (not all can get across safely, because of the large number of 'bad' people).

Magicians are not cheap. We also know crocs will never quit asking a higher fee. What to do? Let's suppose those who need to get across decide to start a debate. The debate could result in the decision to build a boat. Or a bridge. Before the debate starts, however, the magicians, facing less trade, will try to prevent it. How? Well, they could scare those who use their powers into action (if you don't participate, the fee will rise). This, more often than not, will result in intimidation, destruction and even murder. In many cases, the result will be no debate in order to prevent problems. Magicians happy and crocs happy. But the information available on rivers, crocs, humans crossing the river and crocs taking humans wasn't used in the best way because those not interested in a debate had no use for it.   

This example, by the way, isn't based on fiction or hearsay.

4 - To conclude

Those who run this forum know about humans, preference and the most common result of interaction between those opposing each other. We saw destruction and concluded there should be another way to interact. Our aim is good information, respect and good debates. And this is how it will be. My advice is not to worry. Sanjay in particular is a very balanced man.

We hope our members agree. We would also appreciate suggestions and a bit of advice, starting with the posts of PC. What do you think? Delete or discuss? Reasons?
4 users Like peter's post

Switzerland Spalea Online
Wildanimal Lover


Thank you for your explanations Peter. Perhaps, surely probably, I should have waited more time before answering after these Hans Brick's pages reading. I reacted too soon, a litle bit too "indignant"...

I react perhaps a little too much to the first degree... In hindsight, of course, to take this discussion further, I don't request this text to be removed, but I maintain what I said about this teamer and, from now, consider only my reaction as being a clearly disagree reaction. No need to specify, I hope, that this was not a criticism or an attack against Pckts. A criticism about a "way of thinking", yes, but nothing personnal.

Statistically, the tiger is the big cat which fascinates people the most, that is undeniable. I accept and understood it perfectly. But, by contrast, I don't let somebody to tell anything, any anthropomorphic crap about the lion. This is too easy.
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Austria Brehm Offline
( This post was last modified: 12-14-2015, 08:34 AM by Brehm )

I see no reason to remove Pckt's uploaded Scan's. Downgrading 17-18 pages of personal experience to 3-4 questionable phrases is disproportionate and denies all the other interesting information. Like the comment about the method to keep a bengal tiger at bay, which also only works on those and is useless against lions and amur tigers! Would be interesting if it still works today due to adapted behaviour.

About those parts where he compares lions and tigers and seems to  favour tigers...well, i would suggest to see it as personal observation, nothing more and nothing less. There are also trainers which favour the lion in some aspects, personal preference/observation occur's and as long as it doesn't assume's the dimension of Beatty, it is acceptable in my opinion. By the way, his opinion is also biased in favour of the lion one time, when he describes the lion as better father than the tiger.

It would be much better to analyze questionable parts and compare them with other observations, arguments and studies.

In the end, i am glad that all is going a productive way Wink

Sometime's, even the biggest mud create a beautiful lotus. Without the crap of Counter, there wouldn't be so much deep insight and information exchanged, at least not so fast i'm sure.
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United States Pckts Offline
Bigcat Enthusiast
( This post was last modified: 12-15-2015, 12:37 AM by Pckts )

Next on the list of Books I have read is:

Alfred Court "My life with the Big Cats"

First up, the images and the Mixed Siberian and Bengal Cocktail.
The image below of the 7 tigers laying side by side is all of them.

United States Pckts Offline
Bigcat Enthusiast

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United States Pckts Offline
Bigcat Enthusiast

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United States Pckts Offline
Bigcat Enthusiast

Next up is
"My first Mixed Group"

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there are also a couple of chapters Lions (I am Coach of an Eleven-Lions) and Tigers (Bengali, Murderer and Tigers are my Weakness)

All n All,  very good book and worth the read.

United States Pckts Offline
Bigcat Enthusiast
( This post was last modified: 12-15-2015, 06:00 AM by Pckts )

Next is Pat Anthony

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Above are images of him and below will be his biography and an Interview he did.

For any of the young European cage act fans who we are pleased to have contributing to this blog how have never heard of this man, his name was Anthony Patrick Vitanza who's stage name was Pat Anthony. He was one of Americas greatest wild animal trainers, and in my opinion was only overshadowed by Clyde Beatty. Pat learned how to train cat's because of what was called the GI Bill. After the war, all American soldiers were given a choice of what they wanted for a job and where they wanted to go to school and the American Government paid for it. Pat wanted to be an animal trainer, and the Government paid for him to go to JungleLand, which was a large zoo/animal training compound in Thousand Oaks California. They trained animals for movies and circus's at Jungle Land and some of America's best animal trainers/animal handlers of that generation worked there.

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Pat was a very good friend of mine, who I first met when I was a groom taking care of the animals. He was the only Animal Trainer besides Tony Smaha who treated me with respect and kindness and didn't call me a shit shovler. I have a whip lash that Pat gave me in 1975 before I even knew how to use a whip. He made them himself and they were flat and not round like a normal whip lash. I still have it today and have never used it. I was very proud to have Pat come to the Ringling show as my guest the first year I we opened in Venice. Imagine if you can the thrill and excitement of having Pat Anthony, Gunther Gebel Williams, Charley Bauman, Axel Gautier and Daniel Suskow all watching you on one night!!!!!!!!!

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Pat had a lion and tiger barrel roll, a tiger rolling a ball, a lioness named Rita that did a roll over so fast and furious she went from her stomach straight to her stomach without without touching her side. He had some of the best bouncing/ charging lions you would ever see. Mama, the lioness would charge from the left and knock the chair out of his hand and Big Boy a male lion would charge him from the opposite or right side, and he would fight two lions, a male and a female together. He had special pedestals built and the animals stretched instead of sitting like you see in most cage acts. You can see them in the pictures above. His tigers were male tigers and the tiger on the ball above's name was Billy. 

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Why isn't Pat Anthony in the Ring of Fame? There are a number of wonderful circus museums all over Europe(I am not sure about Mexico), complete with costumes, exhibits, history, etc. So far I haven't seen any featuring American circus greats. I wonder why? I also wonder why the Ring of Fame honors folks from other countries? Not people who came here and became citizens as well as achieved fame. I am wondering more about folks like the Atayde Bros. and a number of other folks? Pat was an American soldier, left the Army, and under the GI Bill, became the first wild animal trainer. That's an incredible story, and true circus history, yet he is over looked. Go figure how that works?

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The black, blue, and white boots that Pat Anthony had made for me in Mexico City

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Black Boots, which I spray painted silver, to match the costume, with silver spray paint(called Mexican chrome in the circus.) Pretty stupid, as the paint dried the leather out, and there was no way to oil them. They eventually cracked up and tore, and were thrown away.

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White Boots, which I gave to my brother Michael when he left for Europe with the White Tiger act in 1988 when it went on Circus Knie. He gave them to a fan in Switzerland, and I understand he still has them in his collection. This is the Clyde Bros. tiger act, my first tiger act, and this was my first "tiger publicity photo." Note the horrendous cages in the back ground that the animals were kept in, which was standard for the time. They had solid wood backsides, and they were loaded in the truck 4 on one side, and 3 on the other side, back to back with the mesh side facing the open doors on the trailer. That way the animals, which lived alone and did not get along, could not see each other and fight during trips.

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Blue Boots, which were gashed up when I was "downed and browned" by a tiger named Sultan. That's him, third from the left, sitting up on the pyramid. I gave the boots to a fan in Niagara Falls, New York. This was my first "Hawthorn tiger publicity photo." Note the address, as it was a year before the Richmond facilties were built.

If you go to the search bar above and type in Pat Anthony in the search bar, there are some additional nice pictures of Pat with his cats.

HAYWARD — Lion tamer Pat Anthony
rolled up his left sleeve and quietly, thoughtfully
described his worst mauling.
It was during the winter of 1970 in Redding.
Pa., and Anthony had 18 big lions and tigers in
a cage on stage.
"it was too many animals for such a small
cage." he said. "The female lion was in heat.
She and her mate both dove on me in seconds.
They almost tore my arm off."
Anthony said he knocked the male off him
and struggled free of the female. There was a
hospital across the street, and he walked to it
in zero-degree weather.
The hospital transferred him to Chicago,
where the show was headed.
"They handed me a form to sign and I asked
what it was. They said it was a consent form
to have my arm amputated. They said I would
die from the gangrene, but I wouldn't sign.
"Then a young doctor said he wanted to try
something that had a chance in a thousand of
working. I said go ahead."
Anthony said the doctor cut the partially
healed wounds open and set up a series of
tubes to drain out the poison.
"I woke up three days later." he said.
A few days later he started sneaking out of
the hospital at night to put on his animal show
with one arm in a cast.
"They caught me on the third night."
Anthony said with an impish grin.
Anthony will be a featured performer when
Circus Vargas opens tomorrow night at the
Hayward City Center, 22292 Foothill Blvd.. for
a five-day run.
Between 1948 and 1953. Anthony appeared in
a variety of films as an animal handler and as
a stand-in for stars in mauling scenes.
He recaptured an escaped tiger in "The
Greatest Show On Earth." wrestled a wild
hyena as a stand-in for Gregory Peck in "The
Snows of Kilimanjaro." and wrestled a mountain-
lion in "River of No Return" as a standin
for Robert Mitchum.
He was in a variety.of other films, including
the Jungle Jim series as a stand-in for Johnny
Weissmuller and as a double for Victor Mature
in "Samson and Delilah."
Inspired by Clyde Beatty as a child in Ohio.
Anthony got his start in both films and animal
training at World Jungle Compound at
Thousand Oaks.
In 1954 he started circus work and has been
at it ever since.
Anthony is a robust man with curly dark
hair and a tough, steady gaze. As you might
expect, he has lots of good stories. Like the
time the tigers got loose in Memphis.
"I was working with 13 female tigers and
they all got into a fight and broke the steel
cage open." he said, with a little laugh. "Two
got out and I chased them around the building.
We caught one in the cloakroom and one in the
"Everybody was all excited. It-was like
being in another world. I collapsed for a month
after that one."
Anthony has been with Circus Vargas for
three or four years, and plans to expand his
act to 17 animals next year.
He says he has an 18-month-old Siberian
tiger named Lasky that weighs 700 pounds, is
13 feet long, and is still growing. He says he is
• training it to balance on a big ball. He says the
training has been steady but slowed somewhat
because the tiger has torn apart two of the big
balls so far.
"What the public doesn't realize is that what
they see in the ring takes years of work." he
said. "It takes a constant repetition of the
same little trick for weeks or months."
Anthony draws a distinction between his
"wild animal act" and what he calls the
"European acts" which have animals that
have been raised as pets by the trainers.
"My animals aren't pets: they aren't pampered,"
Anthony said. "I get them when
they're 18 months or 2 years old. Any John Doe
can raise a pet lion and play with it.
But to take a full-grown animal and teach it
tricks takes a little knowhow."
He says his type of animal act is a "dying
art." and he has advised his five sons to go
into other lines of work.
"My 13-year-old boy is nuts about animals,
and is always hanging around the cats when I
go home to Florida." Anthony said. "I may
give him a lion to play with, but he'll never
make a future out of it."
Anthony. 53. has worked over, 20 years with
lions and tigers, and from his observations has
decided that lions are not "the king of beasts."
For one thing, they snore.
"Lions have a reputation, partly because
they run in packs." ne said. "But tigers are
loners. In a head-to-head battle, I'd bet on the
tiger. The lion has an advantage with that
mane, so you get a mouthful of hair before you
reach his neck, but the tiger is swift and can
think. The lion has a one-track mind."
Anthony says he likes working a tent circus
better than the indoor ones.
"There's a certain atmosphere." he said.
"You don't have all the restrictions on the
animals that you have in a building. It's
something that the kids may not see again.
There aren't many tent shows left."
He says his act is unasual because he mixes
both lions and tigers and males and females in
the same tricks. He says the lions and tigers
don't like each other, and the male lions are
unpredictable when the females are around.
He carries two pistols loaded with blanks
when he's in the cage.
"They're not afraid of me." he said "You
can only push them so far. You have to have
your eyes revolving around all the time
because there's always one waiting to nail you
from behind.
"They can tell just by looking if you're
afraid. Then they've got your number."
at 7/26/2008 10:34:00 PM    
Labels: .circus., circus, hamid, pat anthony, tigers

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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
Canine Expert

The true face of those Hollywood animal trainers.

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