My education has been very remiss. Apparently tigers and lions riding horses is de rigueur. In fact, any large predatory animal riding horses seems to be a regular form of entertainment in other parts of the world, most notably China, where it is a main attraction of many zoos/circuses. Bears are also made to ride motorcycles, monkeys ride dogs and on it goes, any animal combination you can think of. Hoofpot first alerted me to this fact after seeing a picture in a magazine of a lion riding a horse. I was intrigued by this. Regrettably my first reaction was 'Cool!'. I can understand how you can get a predator not to kill a prey animal (having had cats and a dwarf rabbit who coexisted happily together, to the fact they used to groom each other) but I find it harder to imagine how you can train a horse not to be afraid of a lion when your average equid is afraid of a paper bag in a bush. Then again, if you can get a horse to accept a human on its back, why not a lion or a tiger or a bear? (especially when the bear is chained to the horse's back by his nose)Saying that, I don't know what methods these places use to force their animals into such arrangements. I would love to think it was through kindness and positive reinforcement training, but I very much doubt it. However, I still thought it was pretty cool and was looking forward to blogging about it when I found another video on youtube. It was a man being attacked (for real) by a lion in a circus. I found the video shocking because I have seen the same look in domesticated animals as the lion had when they get a bone or favoured treat and they are not going to give it up for anything, and it was horrible to see that look when the bone was replaced by a man. It is also horrifying to see how frail we really are, and it was disturbing to see the lion killed. The lion was eventually shot and the man, badly mauled and even more badly shocked, received medical attention. What exactly happened or if the man lived, I don't know. The video was not in English. Now, what really upset me about this clip were the comments posted by other youtubers. Many thought it was fake, because of the way the lion died (they had obviously never seen an animal die before). Others thought a dog who was in the clip was a lion cub and thought it was sad that it should see its father die in front of it (well, when you can't tell a lion cub from a dog, it isn't surprising that you have such sentiments) but what really got to me was that over 90% of the comments were in sympathy for the lion and thought the man should have been shot and allowed to be eaten. What did he expect, messing with nature? Now, I don't approve of animals being treated cruelly and you have to respect all animals, especially ones like lions who can kill you so easily and it was unpleasant to see the lion killed but my sympathy was with THE MAN! I don't know how anyone can watch someone suffering so much, no matter what circumstances led into the attack, and think he deserved it and should be left to be eaten. And then what? Allow the lion free to kill and eat any other people it met? The sad fact is, that lion could not be returned to the wild (even if they had wanted to) and could never be trusted around people again. What option was left but death? It saddens me that we have come to a stage where the death of a lion who was chomping down on a human being is seen as more tragic than the (possibly fatal) attack of a member of our own species. If I ever meet the people who commented on this video, and they happen to be attacked by a lion, I know how they will like to be treated - just leave the lion to his meal and walk away while they are chewed up.