Tiger handler Alexander Crispin was strutting around the two Bengal tigers on the stage of the Circo Suarez in Sonora, Mexico when one of the big cats had finally had enough of it. He pounced on Crispin and sank his teeth and claws into the man’s neck.
Other circus workers tried to fight the tiger off, but the damage was done. Crispin was rushed to hospital where he died from loss of blood.
The tiger, of course, was promptly killed.
In the wild, Bengal tigers are rarely known to kill humans; their natural food consists mainly of local wildlife like wild pigs and deer. On the rare occasions where they’re known to have killed humans, it’s either because they were sick and unable to hunt normally or because their territory has been taken over by humans and their regular prey has moved away.
Nor do tigers, especially males, tolerate others of their kind close by. They mark their territory, which can extend for miles, to keep other tigers away. So having two tigers together in a small circus ring just increases the intolerable stress of a circus existence.
No animal does well in captivity – least of all top predators. Tilikum the orca snapped three years ago and dragged his trainer, Dawn Brancheau, to her death at SeaWorld Orlando. Other orcas, tigers and lions have done the same thing
At the Suarez Circus, the audience, all thrilled to see a tiger being tamed, fled in terror when the tiger retaliated.
Here’s a (somewhat indistinct) video of the attack, posted on YouTube by someone in the audience.
The vast majority of the comments on YouTube take the side of the tiger. For example:
Sin duda es una prueba mas de que los circos no son lugares para los animales … ellos nacieron para ser libres y salvajes, quienes nos creemos para encerrarlos, torturarlos y sentirnos dueños de sus vidas?? NO A LOS CIRCOS CON ANIMALES!!!!
“It’s proof,” she says,” that circuses are no place for the animals … they were born to be free and wild – it’s not for us to imprison and torture them and be the masters of their lives. No to circuses with animals.”
Estos hijos de p*** sacrificaron al tigre después de lo sucedido. Nadie los manda a enjaular animales que nunca debieran ser encerrados. No a los circos, no a los zoologicos, no al sacrificio animal!!!!
“Those sons of b*****s sacrificed the tiger after what happened. No one made them cage these animals who should have never been locked up. No to circuses, no to zoos, no to the sacrificing of animals!!!!”