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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 19 August 2001 Issue

WHEN ANIMALS FALL DOWN

Sometimes animals "finally" Fall Down.  When this happens it is always tragic and the animal in question is usually destroyed (KILLED).  Abuse of an animal is almost always to blame due to humans lacking moral fortitude.

Lion Tamer Mauled

By ROD SMITH (Source: www.news.com.au )

THREE lions attacked their trainer in front of a packed family audience at a Lennon Bros Circus show at Penrith yesterday.  Lion tamer Geoffrey Lennon, 40, received cuts and bites to his buttocks and back after the lions set on him at the beginning of the 2 pm performance.

He was taken to the Nepean Hospital in a serious condition.

A woman spectator said a male lion led the attack on Mr. Lennon, jumping on his back and dragging him to the ground.

"You could hear children crying, and we tried to be calm for them and tell them the man was going to hospital," said the woman, who asked not to be named.

"The trainer was trying to calm one of the lions when the female jumped straight on his back."

The woman said two other lions joined in, biting Mr. Lennon on the feet and face while the first lion attacked his buttocks.

Fellow-trainers used fire extinguishers to subdue the lions - a lioness named Pearl and two males named Rudi and Sultan before rescuing Mr. Lennon.

Circus owner Lindsay Lennon, the trainer's father, said the quick actions of fellow performers saved his son's life.

"If one gets you down, the others tear into you too." he said.

"Seconds make all the difference, but they were right on the ball."

A hospital spokesman said Mr. Lennon's injuries were not life-threatening, but he was expected to undergo surgery last night.

"Geoffrey has puncture wounds and a little tear to the backside, and he's probably got a bit of shock at the moment," his father said.

Shane Lennon said the three lions were each about 12 years old and his brother had worked with them for the past two years.

He said Sultan, the lion who led the attack, was a typically aggressive male.

"What happened is that during the performance Geoffrey turned towards Rudi and had his back towards Sultan.  Sultan took advantage of that and attacked," Shane Lennon said.

The witness said a bloodied Mr. Lennon had walked from the ring after being rescued.

"His clothes were quite ripped.

"He jumped up and walked out with some others," she said.

The witness, who was in the second row, said two of the lions seemed agitated from the outset.

"You could see that something was going to happen.

"He had trouble controlling two of them - they kept pawing out towards him."

Lindsay Lennon said the lions would not be punished but would be absent from the show until next week, when a new season begins at Merrylands.

Police said Workcover had launched an investigation.


COMMENTS

When interviewed on the TV news last night Mr. Lennon, the circus owner, said: "We have absolutely no idea why the lions would attack." !!!!

You ARE kidding Mr. Lennon .... surely?!!?

I suppose these things never crossed your mind:

* Being intimidated to perform tricks on a daily basis - sometimes twice a day, putting up with noise and music and whips.

* At all other times being locked inside a small cage, in all weathers, where all the lions can do is pace up and down. (Some circuses do provide a tiny 'exercise area' where lions can walk on a small area of grass - they usually couldn't be bothered)

* Year after year, being transported to different towns, travelling thousands of kilometres a year.

* Having NO life, being totally denied all inate behaviours of a lion in the wild

SOURCE: myREBAdog@att.net  (Lisa Marie)

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