Wednesday, June 21, 2017

#6 The Big Cage


Chic Silber said...

Son of Ada (Adela) Smeija

& Klaus Blaszak (Brunon)

Paul Gutheil said...

The rage in the cage!!

Roger Smith said...

As noted before with this photo, Mabel Stark's wire-walk was rigged at 6 feet, enough to present the trick with sufficient elevation. Now, this is when we remember the admonition of Bill Strong, "Rigging has a life span." One show in 1967, our hearts sank in horror as Mabel's rigging wrenched and snapped, dropping Tiba, her walker, hard to the deck. Tiba was "a good boy", and he shook it off and clambered back to his seat, when most cats will angrily dive at the trainer. Should rigging as high as we see here fail, the tiger is certain to be injured. It is not impressive to exaggerate your rigging height, considering the risk to your animal.

Chic Silber said...

More often than not Roger

cats of all sizes have the

instinct to land on their feet

I would think a short fall

might be more of a threat

Dennis said...

Don't question Rodger !

Chic Silber said...

Thanks for your suggestion

I knew Roger when we were kids

Roger Smith said...

Mabel hyperventilated over this the rest of the afternoon, staying with Tiba to make sure he was moving. She called Uncle Ben and I to meet her back at the cageline that night, to move Tiba down the tunnel and into the arena to see if he was stove up or mobile. We lit up the cage and Mabel went in to walk him around for half an hour. Once convinced no damage was showing up, she cued him home, and dried her tears. Tiba was a mature King Bengal, topping 600 pounds. As we talked about, having seen his fall, a greater height would have hurt him.

Tiba got the next day off, as Uncle Ben and I rebuilt the rigging in Otis Glover's maintenance shop. When next cued for the walk, Tiba mounted the cables without hesitation, crossed over and back, and took to his seat, casting side glances at his co-stars.