Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/212

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
180
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

Should a lion, tiger or any other savage creature get a trainer down or fasten its teeth or claws into his body, the watchful guard on the outside is expected to plunge his spear into the animal, or get into the cage with hot irons, if necessary. The use of heated irons is, of course, only justifiable in cases of extreme peril, but more than one trainer's life has been saved by recourse to this weapon, which quickly cows an infuriated creature which has had a taste of blood when nothing else will avail.


PUNISHMENT OF TREACHEROUS BEASTS

I have already cited one cardinal rule recognized by all animal workers. There is one other just as universally accepted by the fraternity of trainers. This is, that any animal which has inflicted injury on a trainer must be punished until completely subjugated. This punishment must be given, if possible, by the one whom the creature has injured.

No doubt more than one trainer who has been half killed by a treacherous animal has been inclined to overlook this chastisement after recovering from his injuries. This, however, is regarded as professional treachery, for it is practically certain that the rebellious animal that is not chastised in this manner will