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Phil's Rambling Rants
September 17th, 2006
09:43 pm

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"Do they make good pets?"

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From:tigertoy
Date:September 18th, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC)

Re: Tigers and stuff

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One can never be absolutely safe. This is true of life in general, not just of working with dangerous animals. In the news right now, if you eat spinach you could be at risk of E.coli poisoning -- but if you don't eat spinach you could be at risk of poor nutrition.

Putting oneself into a position where there is no barrier between one and a tiger is always dangerous, but most of the incidents you hear about on the news are cases where the person who got hurt did not intend to be in that situation (they did not know the cat was there, or a gate was left open, or a cage was not locked, or someone else did not know the person was there and let the cat out). Deliberately going in with a tiger is dangerous, but as long as the person doing it knows enough to make an informed choice, it's not out of line with other "extreme" sports. There's a skydiving convention in a town near me every year, and it seems like every year somebody dies. People die all the time in mountain climbing accidents. Hordes of people drown every year, and most of them were in the water for fun. So the real question is not whether it's absolutely safe, but whether the person doing it knows the risk and accepts it.

In my case, I don't go in with the tigers I take care of. I don't have the training, and I don't have a deep enough personal relationship with them. That doesn't mean I'm completely safe; I or someone else could make one big mistake or a series of small ones, and I could get unlucky at the same time. But I think I'm probably more at risk of dying in an auto accident on my 180-mile round trip than of being killed by a tiger any given weekend, so I do my best to be careful, but I don't fret over the risk.

By the way, had you heard that Louie and I will (as far as I know) be doing a house concert in Milwaukee on Saturday, October 7?

I had not heard, or if I had it did not stick in my memory. Thanks for the heads-up. I'm not sure I'll be able to make it, but if I didn't hear about it until the week of Oct. 1, I definitely would not make it. Are you and Louie interested in visiting <a href="http://www.votk.org>Valley of the Kings</a>? If I am there for the weekend I would be willing to take you there. (Their policy is that you can't visit unless you're already a member -- no buying memberships at the gate -- and membership is expensive. But a member (i.e., me) can bring up to 3 guests, as long as they fit in one car (parking is extremely tight).)
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From:tigertoy
Date:September 19th, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC)

Re: Tigers and stuff

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DAMN LJ! The above comment, as I typed it, asked if you wanted to visit Valley of the Kings, but for some reason it didn't like the hyperlink, and instead of giving me a freakin' error message, it just hosed my entry.
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