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Circus world in turmoil as lions conquer fear of chairs

lions still a bit skittish when confronted with occasional tablesThe international circus community is in crisis today after accident investigators working on a series of fatal attacks on lion tamers came to the shocking conclusion that the lion population has suddenly overcome its inbuilt fear of wooden chairs and stools.

Lion tamers have been using flimsy wooden furniture for decades, following a chance discovery that the terrifying animals could be easily cowed into submission with a small stool when an escaped lion was cornered in a Southampton pub in 1912. ‘Since then the king of the jungle has pretty much been putty in our hands’ claims circus historian and former lion tamer Derek Fowley, ‘news that they are no longer frightened by chairs and the like is disturbing indeed.’

According to Fowley, Circus managers throughout the country have been holding emergency crisis meetings with animal behaviourists and safety experts in a desperate attempt to contain the situation. ‘Ever since Simba the Magnificent bit the Great Stupendo’s head off last month, bosses have been desperate to prevent it from happening again. Parents with small children want mild peril, not graphic bloody decapitation – they’re leaving in droves.’

Animal trainer Bob Trudd concurs: ‘We’d take their teeth out if we could get near to the bloody things; or at least dope them up a bit; but if you approach a lion armed with a small kitchen chair nowadays you’re done for!’ Circus professionals like Trudd fear that this change in the lions’ subservient attitude could spell the end of circus life, especially if other animals were to exhibit similar changes of behaviour: ‘if the elephants ever overcome their fear of being brutally beaten with iron bars then we might as well throw in the towel and call it a day.’ he laments.

3rd September 2009

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Posted: Sep 6th, 2013 by jp1885

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