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Tags animal incidents , big cats , lions

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Old 27th August 2020, 05:15 AM   #1
LondonJohn
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Man who played with white lions is mauled to death by white lions

A man described as a conservationist in South Africa, who regularly mingled unprotected with his white lions - presumably under the impression that he'd "tamed" the lions so much that they liked him and would never hurt him....

..... has been mauled to death by those white lions.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-53930125


There seems to be a never-ending supply of idiots who think that their own personal skills and techniques have allowed them to train feral carnivore animals such as lions and tigers (for full-grown examples of whom, prey the size of humans most definitely fall within their dinner menu possibilities).

What's more, they seem unable to learn from history. I presume they think they're somehow "better" at this lion/tiger training game than their predecessors who got attacked and killed by their own animals. And I suppose that they very possibly come to believe, with every day that they're not attacked by their own animals, that they definitely have the magic touch. Until they're mauled and killed.
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Old 27th August 2020, 05:28 AM   #2
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Well they were right that it wasn't actually leopards that ate their face.
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Old 27th August 2020, 06:12 AM   #3
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I have a cat. She likes to fight with my hand when I'm holding her. She is very gentle and doesn't bite me, literally just puts her mouth around my fingers with no pressure. She is playing. Whilst she is play biting me she will be gripping me with her claws out, which are very sharp, they pierce my skin and scratch me. She is definitely trying to not hurt me yet my hands will often be bleeding after a play. Indeed I've scratches and marks on my hands at the moment because we were playing yesterday morning.

Her claws are like needles - incredibly fine but sharp and strong at the tips, probably something like 4mm at maximum extension. She probably weighs about 3kg.


African lionesses weigh about 125kg, claws are very sharp but more steak knife size than needle size.

Even the most docile and gentle lion that only wants to play, not wanting to kill or hurt could rip the guts out of someone in a second without any effort or thought.


I would love to "cuddle" one of the large cats (tigers are my favourite), would love to pet and stroke them and interact with them.

But I also love having my guts contained within my abdomen, you wouldn't catch me near any large cat unless it was well anaesthetised or behind a strong safety screen.

There is a famous Egyption family of lion tamers - El-Helw - and they've been "taming" lions for literally generations. Do a quick internet search on their name and spot the stories of them being mauled and killed, mind you it is not all doom and gloom some have survived a couple of mauls!

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Old 27th August 2020, 06:52 AM   #4
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Point of information. The lions were not strictly feral. They were never domesticated in the first place. A feral animal is a domesticated animal that has gone wild and is living free. Cats, dogs, goats, sheep even cattle sometimes. But not lions.

Domestic cats differ as to how much they'll try not to hurt someone in play. Rolfe had such good manners that he really never laid a claw on anyone (apart from the time a two-year-old tried sticking something in his ear). Jori, my present cat, pulls his punches a lot, although occasionally he gets so enthusiastic I have to remove him from the room. He never inflicts more than a superficial scratch though.

Caramel, who came in between Rolfe and Jori, was lethal. He had no concept of pulling his punches. He'd have you. "It's just his nature" said my mother sadly as she dabbed at her wounds. Several visitors to the house ended up being treated for cat bites. He didn't do play-fighting, he did the real thing.

I wouldn't be too sure any lion was trying not to hurt someone. Some might, but even petter domestic pussies can shred you if they happen to be in the mood.
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Last edited by Rolfe; 27th August 2020 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 27th August 2020, 07:00 AM   #5
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There are a lot of changes that occur when animals are domesticated that make them both physically safer, less likely to want to harm you and more aware and reluctant to harm you accidentally. Even a friendly wild animal should never be viewed as “safe” in the way a domesticated animal is and even domesticated animals can be dangerous at times.
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Old 27th August 2020, 07:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I have a cat. She likes to fight with my hand when I'm holding her. She is very gentle and doesn't bite me, literally just puts her mouth around my fingers with no pressure. She is playing. Whilst she is play biting me she will be gripping me with her claws out, which are very sharp, they pierce my skin and scratch me. She is definitely trying to not hurt me yet my hands will often be bleeding after a play. Indeed I've scratches and marks on my hands at the moment because we were playing yesterday morning.

Her claws are like needles - incredibly fine but sharp and strong at the tips, probably something like 4mm at maximum extension. She probably weighs about 3kg.


African lionesses weigh about 125kg, claws are very sharp but more steak knife size than needle size.

Even the most docile and gentle lion that only wants to play, not wanting to kill or hurt could rip the guts out of someone in a second without any effort or thought.


I would love to "cuddle" one of the large cats (tigers are my favourite), would love to pet and stroke them and interact with them.

But I also love having my guts contained within my abdomen, you wouldn't catch me near any large cat unless it was well anaesthetised or behind a strong safety screen.

There is a famous Egyption family of lion tamers - El-Helw - and they've been "taming" lions for literally generations. Do a quick internet search on their name and spot the stories of them being mauled and killed, mind you it is not all doom and gloom some have survived a couple of mauls!

Madness. Admire from afar.
Cats are one of the few domesticated animals where killing instinct (or violent tendencies) wasnít deliberately bred out of them, in fact since killing small critters was one of their functions they are probably more prone to random murder than their wild ancestors.

Conversely dog behavior is mostly a subset of wolf hunting behavior that stops before the kill, or skips over it. The exception to this are breeds used for ratting. If cats are natural serial killers, terriers are mass murderers. After you watch one of these dogs working, it should be immediately apparent what a terrible idea breeding a larger more powerful version with a powerful bite really is. Just as with the wild animals, some people just never get it and think their skills trump what the animal evolved to do or was bred to do.
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Old 27th August 2020, 07:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I have a cat. She likes to fight with my hand when I'm holding her. She is very gentle and doesn't bite me, literally just puts her mouth around my fingers with no pressure. She is playing. Whilst she is play biting me she will be gripping me with her claws out, which are very sharp, they pierce my skin and scratch me. She is definitely trying to not hurt me yet my hands will often be bleeding after a play. Indeed I've scratches and marks on my hands at the moment because we were playing yesterday morning.
Put thick socks over your hand. Both of you will enjoy the fights more. My cat used to pin back his ears when he saw me putting a sock over my hand.
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Old 27th August 2020, 08:01 AM   #8
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Yeah, it sounds like one of the lions hit a femoral artery. Even if these two were really his buddies, humans just donít have the hide for lions in a rough moment.

These kinds of slightly socialized big cats can kill Ďfriendsí without intention like this, in play or a moment of frustration/aggression, and it seems they often kill people they havenít become fond of in play or real hunting behaviors. Seems like a lot of the ones in the news are attacks on people/workers with their backs turned.

And then you have the very unfortunate intentional and mistake attacks where the animal is either genuinely angry or something is up with the trainer where the animal mistakes them for an intruding stranger. I wonder if these happen a lot in places where regular joes are allowed to keep these animals.
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Old 27th August 2020, 08:54 AM   #9
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Old 27th August 2020, 09:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Put thick socks over your hand. Both of you will enjoy the fights more. My cat used to pin back his ears when he saw me putting a sock over my hand.

I once put a leather (sheepskin) glove over my hand to try to have a "play" fight with Caramel. When I realised the glove was going to be shredded beyond any futher use if we continued, I quit. That cat had absolutely no inhibitions whatsoever.

Pulling my sleeve over my hand is enough to temper Jori's fun and games. Trying that with Caramel would have landed you in hospital. (And yet Jori is the one with 7% Prionailurus bengalensis - Asian leopard cat - genes, while Caramel was mere moggie, mother out of Battersea Dogs' Home, got out and found a ginger tom in Ashdown Forest. But he was the lethal one.)
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Old 27th August 2020, 09:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I once put a leather (sheepskin) glove over my hand to try to have a "play" fight with Caramel. When I realised the glove was going to be shredded beyond any futher use if we continued, I quit. That cat had absolutely no inhibitions whatsoever.

Pulling my sleeve over my hand is enough to temper Jori's fun and games. Trying that with Caramel would have landed you in hospital. (And yet Jori is the one with 7% Prionailurus bengalensis - Asian leopard cat - genes, while Caramel was mere moggie, mother out of Battersea Dogs' Home, got out and found a ginger tom in Ashdown Forest. But he was the lethal one.)
Caramel was a tom? Probably seeking revenge for being given a girl's name...


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Old 27th August 2020, 09:16 AM   #12
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He was a sweetie. The litter were Caramel, Humbug and Treacle. (The girl's name is Carmel.)
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Old 27th August 2020, 09:19 AM   #13
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Had a good system worked out with my last dog. If I held my forearm horizontal and said 'kill', she could go ape **** on me. When I held a finger up and said 'enough', she would stop cold. Only went south once, when a kid turned her arm horizontal to look at a bug biting her and said 'kill it' or something. I was not allowed to teach the new dog that tradition.
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Old 27th August 2020, 12:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I have a cat. She likes to fight with my hand when I'm holding her. She is very gentle and doesn't bite me, literally just puts her mouth around my fingers with no pressure. She is playing. Whilst she is play biting me she will be gripping me with her claws out, which are very sharp, they pierce my skin and scratch me. She is definitely trying to not hurt me yet my hands will often be bleeding after a play. Indeed I've scratches and marks on my hands at the moment because we were playing yesterday morning.
....
Maybe you should start a new thread about the joys of cat ownership. I would think a pet who draws blood is not something to keep around, especially if you've got a bathtub and a cloth sack. And you know about "cat scratch fever," right?
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heal...cratch-disease
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Old 27th August 2020, 12:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Had a good system worked out with my last dog. If I held my forearm horizontal and said 'kill', she could go ape **** on me. When I held a finger up and said 'enough', she would stop cold. Only went south once, when a kid turned her arm horizontal to look at a bug biting her and said 'kill it' or something. I was not allowed to teach the new dog that tradition.
Was the dog actually biting you? And you allowed it? Or did it understand it was a game?
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Old 27th August 2020, 01:26 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Maybe you should start a new thread about the joys of cat ownership. I would think a pet who draws blood is not something to keep around, especially if you've got a bathtub and a cloth sack. And you know about "cat scratch fever," right?
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heal...cratch-disease

I think you missed my point. I was trying to illustrate that even our domesticated tiny cats can without meaning to cause injuries, scale that up to the size of these lions and it should be obvious to anyone that you canít treat them as a pet.
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Old 27th August 2020, 03:55 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Was the dog actually biting you? And you allowed it? Or did it understand it was a game?
Well I'm no puppy psychologist, but she must have known it was a kind of a game since she backed off when told. But she knew she didn't have to hold back much either. Blood was seen on occasion.

I play Kanga with my sister in laws dog now. Similar rules, but the start is I get into a boxing stance and slap her. Then she goes for my throat.
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Old 27th August 2020, 04:02 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Maybe you should start a new thread about the joys of cat ownership. I would think a pet who draws blood is not something to keep around, especially if you've got a bathtub and a cloth sack. And you know about "cat scratch fever," right?
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heal...cratch-disease
I got that from a cat who licked whatever she could reach (I'm pretty sure she frenched me once while I was sleeping) and had a triangle of blisters under my left eye. No scratches required.
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Old 27th August 2020, 04:10 PM   #19
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The famous (in Australia) vet Dr Hugh Worth was always trying to tell people that domesticated animals are still dangerous. They still have a mind of their own. Dogs that people insist are safe may still turn one day and attack. While people are surprised when their animals turn on them, or worse, others, it is really only expected behaviour.

Even experts at zoos with formal safety protocols are killed from time to time.
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Old 27th August 2020, 04:12 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Had a good system worked out with my last dog. If I held my forearm horizontal and said 'kill', she could go ape **** on me. When I held a finger up and said 'enough', she would stop cold. Only went south once, when a kid turned her arm horizontal to look at a bug biting her and said 'kill it' or something. I was not allowed to teach the new dog that tradition.
You should listen to Dr Worth.
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Old 27th August 2020, 04:26 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
You should listen to Dr Worth.
I'll invite the good Doctor to my living room, and bet $50 on the dog.

Seriously, I think it's healthy for dogs to play rough when allowed. IME, they also love knowing the rules and heirchy. Makes them feel safe. If a dog does not clearly know who is the boss, that's when you have trouble.
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Old 27th August 2020, 04:38 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
The famous (in Australia) vet Dr Hugh Worth was always trying to tell people that domesticated animals are still dangerous. They still have a mind of their own. Dogs that people insist are safe may still turn one day and attack. While people are surprised when their animals turn on them, or worse, others, it is really only expected behaviour.

Even experts at zoos with formal safety protocols are killed from time to time.


This is true. But on the final sentence, in the majority of those sorts of cases either the safety protocols will have been lacking in validity, or the person in question will have been sloppy in the way he/she applied those protocols.

That aside, it is beyond stupid for someone to believe that they can "roughhouse" with - or even have any level of physical contact with - animals such as adult lions/tigers, with effectively a complete absence of safety protocols. As I said in the OP, such animals (when they've been familiarised with humans in general and their "handler" in particular) can go years without exhibiting injurious behaviour - and I suspect that this usually reinforces the view of the "handler" that he/she is totally safe around the animal(s).

I also agree with those who've said that animals such as adult lions/tigers can inflict easily enough injury to kill a person without ever really displaying what could be considered aggression or true hunting/killing behaviour. And this of course only serves to increase the chances of a person ending up seriously injured of killed sooner or later. I should have mentioned this in the OP.
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Old 27th August 2020, 04:48 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I think you missed my point. I was trying to illustrate that even our domesticated tiny cats can without meaning to cause injuries, scale that up to the size of these lions and it should be obvious to anyone that you canít treat them as a pet.

Yes, this.

On a related topic, do people remember the strange and tragic story of that bear (can't remember whether it was a black, brown or grizzly) in California which had been "trained" to perform around humans, and had featured in one or more movies/TV shows? A guy who was (I think) a friend of the bear's "handler" had arranged to spend time with the bear, as a precurser to working with the bear in some sort of TV/film project. And this familiarisation process was being videod.

At a moment during the session, with the man standing next to the bear which had been commanded to stand upright on its hind legs, the bear turned on the man and mauled him. Then man died fairly soon afterwards as a result of his injuries.
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Old 27th August 2020, 05:32 PM   #24
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We need to keep housecats away from babies.

They steal their breath!
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Old 27th August 2020, 06:30 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I think you missed my point. I was trying to illustrate that even our domesticated tiny cats can without meaning to cause injuries, scale that up to the size of these lions and it should be obvious to anyone that you canít treat them as a pet.
Most people wouldn't need to be told that. In this particular case, according to the reports, one or both of them had already killed a farmhand. That would be plenty good reason to lock them up or worse.
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Old 27th August 2020, 06:44 PM   #26
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Never been a cat person, as they are just unreliable and annoying and kill native things.

The only thing I would point out as if it was a kiwi White Lion it obviously would have just done a haka in deep respect and smiled in a self depreciating manner, while looking manly.
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Old 27th August 2020, 08:27 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Well I'm no puppy psychologist, but she must have known it was a kind of a game since she backed off when told. But she knew she didn't have to hold back much either. Blood was seen on occasion.

I play Kanga with my sister in laws dog now. Similar rules, but the start is I get into a boxing stance and slap her. Then she goes for my throat.
Do you seriously do this? If so, seems like a good way to for someone to get hurt.
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Old 27th August 2020, 09:48 PM   #28
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I think people tend to forget that even nice friendly animals are not necessarily thinking in the same way we are. A good cat is still always a cat.

Long ago I had a lovely, sweet and docile cat. A nice black cat (Krazy, of course), who would sit on one's lap and purr, loved to be brushed and toweled off after going out in the rain, liked to play but was very careful not to claw people except for a tendency to launch himself off a lap with all points protruding. He let me clip his claws when they got too long and started tangling in upholstery, as tolerant as could be. Traveled well in a carrier, let us feed him pills. A lovely lap cat. But he was also a fierce hunter and would kill and eat anything small enough to catch. And nearly 40 years later I still have a long scar on my arm from the time he did not, right then, want to get into his carrying case to go to the vet.
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Old 27th August 2020, 10:25 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
There seems to be a never-ending supply of idiots who think that their own personal skills and techniques have allowed them to train feral carnivore animals such as lions and tigers ...
Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
On a related topic, do people remember the strange and tragic story of that bear ...

Thanks. I've been waiting for the bears to show up.
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Old 28th August 2020, 12:52 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
Do you seriously do this? If so, seems like a good way to for someone to get hurt.
My brother always teaches his dogs "Kill", but only to bark and growl at the command. He figures that will ward off any intruder or attacker - him shouting "Kill" and the dog barking and growling in response.
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Old 28th August 2020, 01:21 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Call BLM! Call Antifa! Them Whiteys is doing it again!
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Old 28th August 2020, 05:45 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
We need to keep housecats away from babies.

They steal their breath!

Don't be ridiculous. Everyone knows that cats protect children from breath-stealing trolls.
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Old 28th August 2020, 08:02 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Modified View Post
My brother always teaches his dogs "Kill", but only to bark and growl at the command. He figures that will ward off any intruder or attacker - him shouting "Kill" and the dog barking and growling in response.
My pups all instinctively barked at someone approaching the house. Slow bark to announce an approacher, faster if they don't recognize them, and ballistic if a large unknown male. It's better than a video doorbell. Also, I have to physically touch an unknown person before she stops barking. She evidently assumes I haven't noticed them till I do.

'Kill' is strictly for blowing off steam, if she wanted to. If she didn't want to kill, she would just play fight or nuzzle or something.
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Old 28th August 2020, 08:34 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
Yes, this.

On a related topic, do people remember the strange and tragic story of that bear (can't remember whether it was a black, brown or grizzly) in California which had been "trained" to perform around humans, and had featured in one or more movies/TV shows? A guy who was (I think) a friend of the bear's "handler" had arranged to spend time with the bear, as a precurser to working with the bear in some sort of TV/film project. And this familiarisation process was being videod.

At a moment during the session, with the man standing next to the bear which had been commanded to stand upright on its hind legs, the bear turned on the man and mauled him. Then man died fairly soon afterwards as a result of his injuries.
You get similar stories with Chimps from time to time. Given that Chimps tend to be more violent than most animals and that an adult male chimp can literally pull your arm off and beat you with it, they are not safe to keep around, yet many people still think they can be pets.
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Old 28th August 2020, 08:46 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
Do you seriously do this? If so, seems like a good way to for someone to get hurt.
Yes, if the dog has the right disposition for it and is not huge. My new dog is a rescue and a bit of a coward. Barks at intruders but has no interest in rough play, so doesn't get it. Understanding the pup is really important, obviously
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Old 28th August 2020, 08:53 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post

Seriously, I think it's healthy for dogs to play rough when allowed. IME, they also love knowing the rules and heirchy.
Iím inclined to think you are simply teaching them where your play boundaries are. Dogs like to play a little rough so itís important for them to understand just how far they can go and this is more dependant on personality than pack hierarchy.

My dogs can play very rough at times but will only play that way with each other. They don't trust other dogs to know where to draw the line so they wonít play with them and are not even particular inclined to play with most people. They love to play with me, but that usually devolves into a game of tug, which the male isnít allowed to play because heís prone to grabbing your hand along with the object heís pulling on.

(I swear, when they play with each other one of them will pretend to be a dear. One will go into a stalk and try to hide, when the other seed this it will watch enviously while munching on grass. Sooner or later the stalemate will break and the one doing the stalking will chase the other and try trip and jump on the other. Except for the kill bite, they will more or less play out a full scene of a wolf hunting a dear. )
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Old 28th August 2020, 09:01 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Iím inclined to think you are simply teaching them where your play boundaries are. Dogs like to play a little rough so itís important for them to understand just how far they can go and this is more dependant on personality than pack hierarchy.

My dogs can play very rough at times but will only play that way with each other. They don't trust other dogs to know where to draw the line so they wonít play with them and are not even particular inclined to play with most people. They love to play with me, but that usually devolves into a game of tug, which the male isnít allowed to play because heís prone to grabbing your hand along with the object heís pulling on.

(I swear, when they play with each other one of them will pretend to be a dear. One will go into a stalk and try to hide, when the other seed this it will watch enviously while munching on grass. Sooner or later the stalemate will break and the one doing the stalking will chase the other and try trip and jump on the other. Except for the kill bite, they will more or less play out a full scene of a wolf hunting a dear. )
*deer

Yeah, boundaries. They know to be restrained with people, so there is a clear signal for when they can take the brakes off. This is handy because I'm the only human that will play rough with them, and they need to get it is provisional.
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Old 28th August 2020, 10:08 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
You get similar stories with Chimps from time to time. Given that Chimps tend to be more violent than most animals and that an adult male chimp can literally pull your arm off and beat you with it, they are not safe to keep around, yet many people still think they can be pets.
I always hear this. It sounds like ********. What case is there of a chimp pulling somebody's arm out of the socket? I mean chimps are stronger than humans pound for pound, but compare a healthy 190 lb human male and an average chimp less than half the size it's a lot closer. Range of motion is also quite different in humans and chimps.

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Old 28th August 2020, 10:09 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
You get similar stories with Chimps from time to time. Given that Chimps tend to be more violent than most animals and that an adult male chimp can literally pull your arm off and beat you with it, they are not safe to keep around, yet many people still think they can be pets.

Yep. IIRC, there was a woman in the US who'd socialised a chimp, and it (literally) ripped her face off while she was having a friend over for tea......
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Old 28th August 2020, 10:12 AM   #40
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Yeah, the arm thing is just a fun thing to say. What a problem ape absolutely will do is gouge your eyes out and rip your face up pretty good. The story is much sadder. She was at a facility for rescued chimps and some *********** accidentally let an aggressive ape out while she was in there visiting her old pet chimp.

Last edited by Lithrael; 28th August 2020 at 10:16 AM.
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