Lion Attacks Trainer in Vegas

Handler hospitalized after mauling at MGM Grand hotel
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2010 4:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – A lion lunged at a trainer at the MGM Grand hotel and casino in Las Vegas in an attack captured on video by shocked tourists. Another trainer helped get the male lion off the man, who was rushed to a local hospital, where he received several stitches. MGM officials insist there's no problem with the company's safety practices, and that such incidents are very rare. The lions live in a desert compound and are rotated to the Vegas site so that each lion only appears one day per week, according to spokesmen.

The lion apparently wanted to show the trainer who's boss after the man seemed to stiffen when the lion looked at him, big cat expert Dave Salmoni tells CNN. "What that tells the lion is: that guy's nervous," Salmoni says. The lion "was doing what I would consider to be like a teenager testing his boundaries. He went in and said, 'I know I'm not allowed to bite people but I'm going to bite you and see what you can do back to me.'"

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