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Tanked-up tiger taming leads to trauma

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AYUDHAYA: Taming big cats, whether they are lions or tigers, generally requires a long period of dedicated training – and no small amount of skill and courage.

After a drinking session recently, one man in Ayudaya Province persuaded his zoo-keeper friend to let him have a go at taming a large tiger – with sadly predictable results.

Prasert Yomprakong, originally from Surin Province, went to visit his friend who worked at Pang Chang Elephant Village in Ayudhaya on the afternoon of February 12 .

The two old friends bought some liquor and sat drinking the afternoon away outside the village.

Thirty-eight year old Prasert, his courage fortified by drink, soon began to express an interest in the village’s tiger collection.

He begged his friend to let him accompany him into a tiger cage so he could see how the tigers were fed and looked after. He also wanted to practice controlling them, he said.

After some browbeating, Prasert’s friend agreed and the pair headed off to the enclosure of a female cat named Pinky.

Pinky, however, was unimpressed by having a drunken man staggering around her cage trying to tame her, so when Prasert’s back was turned, she pounced and gave him a severe mauling.

After being freed, Prasert was rushed to Phranakhon Sri Ayutthaya Hospital to be treated. Dr Bantoon Bunmeesuk said that Prasert had to have stitches for severe lacerations in his cheek, neck and right thigh, but declared him out of danger.

He will be kept in hospital while the wounds heal so that doctors can keep a close watch for infection, Dr Bantoon added.

This is not the first time a visitor has been injured by a tiger at Bang Chang. Last year, a child was injured after taunting another tiger, imaginatively named “Tiger”.

The manager of the park, Phaisan Ariwongsakul, said that he would pay for all of Prasert’s medical expenses.

The manager did not say whether Pinky would be punished for her attack.

 

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