Lion Tamer


“I never thought much of the courage of a lion tamer. Inside the cage he is at least safe from people.”
 George Bernard Shaw

Lion tamers have one of the most uncommon — and exciting — jobs on the planet. In order to become a lion tamer, you must have many years of experience and knowledge. You also need to live, breathe and love those animals like they’re your own family. Taking aside the fact they can decide to eat you at any given moment…

Curiosities About Lion Tamers

This dangerous profession requires that a person interacts face-to-face with big cats, including tigers, jaguars, and leopards as well as lions. These big carnivores cats weigh hundreds of pounds, and lion taming is offered as entertainment audiences at circuses. Below are some renowned “Lion Tamers” and a little about their doings.

George Wombwell

  • George Wombwell exhibited animals in menageries during the Victorian era in Britain. He was the founder of Wombwell’s Travelling Menagerie. Perhaps most notably, he raised the first lion in captivity in Britain.

Rose Flanders Bascom

  • Rose Flanders Bascom was a lion tamer in America in the early part of the 20th century. She entered circus life as a lion tamer seven years after marrying Alfred Bascom. A lion clawed her, which led to a fatal infection. She died in 1915, leaving behind her husband and a daughter named Agnes.

Jules Jacot

  • Jules Jacot tamed the fierce creatures at the St. Louis Zoo for the last 30 years of his life. This lion tamer was 81 when he died in 1971.

Thomas Beckerson

  • Lion taming was an unlikely profession for Thomas Beckerson, a botanist. While in Africa he became fascinated with lions. He took his lion taming skills to England during the Victorian era.

Animal Training

  • Lions and other wild cats cannot actually be tamed or domesticated, although they might be trained to do tricks. Before trainers can work with them, an animal must be “broken” by a person called a breaker. Breakers teach animals to be tolerant of humans who are near them and to respond to the breaker’s voice commands. Breakers are usually the animal trainers, because they have already begun work with the cats. These breakers need great focus and cannot let anything distract them from working with the animals. Animals are trained to perform after they have been broken.

Animal Treatment

  • Animals were sometimes treated cruelly in the past. Today’s animal trainers provide rewards to the cats who perform, respecting them as living creatures and recognizing them as individuals. Modern shows feature performances by cougars, leopards, jaguars and lions that are treated well.



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