A while ago I did a post about a young woman called Ray Walker, who was a lion trainer.
The article in my post was about the time one of her lions panicked during a publicity walk in the streets of East London, South Africa, and injured her.
In order to get the lion to safety she bundled it into a nearby taxi. In the post I wondered about the state of her injuries and we all wondered at the mental state of the taxi driver when he realized who, and what, was on the backseat!
Imagine my surprise when over the weekend I had a comment on that post from one of Ray Walkers offspring!
Apparently the ‘scratches’, as they were described in that newspaper article, were hundreds of stitches and a smashed jaw that needed wiring back together. What an amazing woman she must have been to keep her cool in such a situation!
Of course, you know me, I immediately had to go back to the archives and see if I could find some more articles about her.
You can probably imagine how surprised I was to find this one with a photo of her supposedly taken mere minutes before the lion (named Sultan) panicked.
In this photo Sultan doesn’t look too pleased does he? The accompanying article reports after the incident three men rescued her and helped her take Sultan back to his cage by taxi.
It must have been quite a big taxi to fit three blokes, a woman, and a grumpy lion in it. I wonder if they really rescued her and helped return Sultan or if they just helped her shove him in the taxi? I know from experience that a large frightened animal in a confined space with strangers is not the best idea, and a taxi screams confined space to me!
Apparently the taxi driver was well rewarded for his assistance, financially and with a medal. He probably had to go home and have a heart attack afterwards, not everyone is used to lions at such close quarters! At least he had a good story to tell. I wonder how Ray Walker told the story?
Either way, if a lion’s panic attack happened in a public street these days I think people would be too busy fumbling for their iphones and putting it on youtube to actually help her out, don’t you?