“Born to be wild” tiger kills again, and is killed

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1998:

NEWBERRY, Florida– – Jupiter,
the three-year-old tiger who on October 8
killed trainer Charles Edward Lizza, 34, as
described on page one of the November ANIMAL
PEOPLE, struck again on November
13, killing co-owner Doris Guay, 58.
Guay and her husband Ron Guay,
61, exotic cat handlers for 40 years, were
unable to hold Jupiter back as he pounced and
savaged Lizza, who had raised the tiger
almost from birth. Neither was Ron Guay able
to save his wife, who reportedly rarely ventured
outside during the six weeks after
Lizza’s death.
The Guays had performed together
as Ron and Joy Holliday since he was 14 and
she was 11. Lizza joined them in 1992, after
they had shared billings for about four years
with the Tommy Hanneford Circus.

“Lizza’s death was an accident,”
Ron Guay told Gainesville Sun writer Karen
Voyles. “Joy’s death was an out-and-out
killing. Jupiter grabbed her by the throat,
swung her four feet into the air, and dropped
her. Her throat was ripped, and I knew she
was dead. Jupiter didn’t see the Joy he knew
as momma. He saw a weak, vulnerable,
shaking stranger, and that was a killing in the
wild. In the wild, they kill the young and the
old––the vulnerable.”
Guay had sheriff’s deputies shoot
Jupiter that night, but refused to sell the five
other family tigers to a Texas canned hunt,
apparently the only bidder.
Titled “Born to be wild, big cats
break loose,” the ANIMAL PEOPLE article
described a dual threat from private big cat
ownership: some kill people, and far more
simply escape or are released when they get
too big to handle. Then the harm done by captive-raised
pumas, in particular, tends to be
blamed on the wild population.
Six other incidents underscored
either point within the next three weeks:
• On November 7, two Siberian
tigers owned by Reginald “Lefty” Parr, 47,
escaped from their cage near Cut And Shoot,
Texas, 30 miles north of Houston. Evading
Parr’s 15 Rottweilers, whose run surrounds
the cage, they raided hog pens and terrorized
the community, but were each killed within 30
hours by members of a posse.
• On November 16, Carnivore
Preservation Trust volunteer Mark Kostich,
37, was mauled by a five-year-old male puma.
Located near Pittsboro, North Carolina, the
Carnivore Preservation Trust has now had two
such attacks on the premises within less than a
year. “While these animals are capitve,” said
Trust board member Steve Brechbiel, “they
are still wild. Even with the best procedures in
place, they can attack for what appears to be
no reason.”
• Lance W. Pope, 33, of Terrell,
Texas, was on November 18 mauled by a
female African lion named Queen, one of
three lions he keeps at a “haunted house”
amusement facility.
• Schoolboys from the Bloxham
School, Banbury, Oxon, England, camping
on Dartmoor reported on November 20 that
two big cats stalked them, tore tents, killed a
sheep nearby, and left tracks which appeared
to be those of a male African lion. About 10
miles away, police were investigating earlier
reports that a lion had been seen at large.
Rumors have flown for years about sightings
of allegedly feral exotic cats in the Dartmoor
• Ringling Brothers and Barnum &
Bailey Circus tiger trainer Geoffrey Pettigrew,
37, an 18-year veteran of exotic cat handling,
was seriously mauled on November 21 in
Chicago, while moving a tiger from a transport
cage to the animal’s holding cage.
• Two five-year-old female cheetahs––a
species generally considered “safe” as
big cats go––tunneled under a fence on
December 5 at the Doue-la-Fontaine Zoo near
Saumur, France, killed a three-year-old boy,
and mauled the boy’s father as he tried to fight
them off

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