13 comments on “Ray Walker again, but not so lucky this time. 1953.

    • All I could imagine was the lions arriving in the ring like a group of surly teenagers drifting into class. I am sure that many high school teachers spend their day just waiting to be taken down as well. 🙂

  1. I too am mostly struck by ‘surly’ as a description for a lion…….AND ‘fairly comfortable’??! what? not even a teeny little bit ‘uncomfortable’ after being attacked and severely mauled by a surly lion??! Best thing I’ve read all day!!! where do you find this stuff!!

    • Yes, I laughed at the ‘fairly comfortable’ description too. After you have a tooth pulled you are ‘fairly comfortable’. I love they way newspapers report things. I expect that her version of the story, and how she felt, would have been quite different!

      I think how you would feel after a lion mauling, however light, would be described in more forceful terms. Maybe ‘heavily sedated’ might have been a more accurate description of her condition!

  2. Personally I think the Lion was a little peeved that she always gets Top Billing and he thought it was his turn. I think if I was the Plucky Miss Walker, I’d take up a different lion of work ( so sorry, it’s my hands,they just won’t stop) like cleaning up after the heffalumps and selling it for improving the roses. Her kids might see a bit more of her then, at least the bits the lions don’t eat.

    • Plucky is probably a good description of her. I have found quite a few reports of lion shows going wrong for people over time, it was clearly not a profession for the faint hearted.

      That said, where is the glory in cleaning up the poo? I bet the person who cleaned the elephant poo had an interesting life story too. I have noticed that history never tells the poo-picker-upperers story as excitedly as it tells the story of the people that did the public things.

      I liked the bit that says that it was being kept from the children for now. Doesn’t every parent do things like that, shield them from the bad stuff? Especially if the lions were considered as part of the family.

      I wondered about the use of her name too. In the articles she is always called Miss Walker but her husband is named as Mr Lane. I am interested to know if she kept her ‘Miss Walker’ as a stage name. I thought the papers would probably have been more likely to call her Mrs Walker just because she had a husband and children. I would think being a public ‘Miss’ in those days, in that situation, might have been unusual. Any thoughts?

  3. Your attraction to Ray Walker intrigues me… your guise of a modern great white hunter stalking lion tamers rather than lions 🙂 Oh, and I can hear her husband saying (nagging) “Honey, don’t you think it’s time to think of a career change?” 😉

    • 🙂 I love it when I can find out more information about a person. So often it is just one article and never again, and you wonder if they did that exciting thing because they were in the wrong place at the right time or if they really did have an interesting life. Plus, getting that message from one of her kids got me going again!

  4. So NOT the job for me!
    I do admire brave people, but I don’t count myself among them. She’s an intriguing character, but did she have a death wish or just a short memory?

    • I suppose in the 50’s there were few career opportunities for women once they had children. Lions can kill you, but kids can break your brain. Maybe she saw the lions as time off, regardless of the danger 🙂

  5. Thanks for digging this up about Ray, Wonder Woman. I just hope there isn’t a third mauling that ends up killing her. She really did live a charmed life in a way didn’t she?

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