The Coastal News  Friday, March 17, 1893


A Remarkable Lion Story.

An incident happened at Barnum and Bailey's show recently in Bridgeport, which shows to what danger an ignorant man will expose himself, arid how he may escape all injury. "Toby" Hamilton, the press agent for the firm, was asked for work by a hulking big fellow named Hans, and as somebody was wanted to clean the cages of the animals he was engaged. He was told to clean the cages containing the lions, tigers, etc., thoroughly, both inside and outside. The man set to work, and Mr. Hamilton went about his business. He came back some, time afterward and was wondering what had become of the new hand, for he was nowhere, to be seen.

On making a closer search, Mr. Hamilton was horrified to see the man inside the cage with the five lions. He was going about his work in a most methodical way, sweeping the floor vigorously with his broom, which he occasionally "shood" into the faces of the astonished lions when any of them came anywhere near him. The animals were evidently surprised at the man's utter indifference to them, that they kept huddled up in one corner until Hans wanted to clean out that particular part of the cage.

They were unceremoniously evicted with the help of the broom, and they scampered around utterly forgetful of their proper dignity. Mr. Hamilton never expected to see the man come out alive, as lie felt sure the lions would attack him as soon as he started to leave the den. He hastily collected some of the older hands together, and then he ordered the German to come out of the cage. The fellow wanted to finish his job and laughed at the idea of the animals hurting him, but he finally obeyed orders and got out of the cage without a scratch. What prevented the animals from tearing him to pieces is a mystery, for nobody dares enter the cage in which these particular lions are, as they are a savage, unruly lot. The coolness of the deed must have utterly astonished the lions, and the steady use of the broom, which was poked into their faces every now and then, must have convinced them that they had to do with some species of animal and that under the circumstance discretion was the best part of valor. It was some time before the man could be convinced of the great danger he had been in and persuaded to use the rakes that are always used for cleaning out the inside of the cages. These are provided with long handles, and the man using thein can stand safely out of all danger while doing, his work.