By Ryan Dean
KSDK — The man responsible for rescuing his friend from the jaws of a tiger over the weekend said he was terrified thinking of his friend in the situation.
"?There ain't nothing more terrifying than that," said Roy Elder, who pulled his friend, 26-year-old Jacob Barr, away from an 800-pound tiger.
"When you throw an 80 pound piece of meat in a cage and it catches it like a tennis ball, it never touches the ground, the tiger catches it in the air and shakes to rip it apart, that's what you deal with, so imagine what it's like on flesh and bones," he said.
Elder, a volunteer at Wesa-A-Geh-Ya in Warren County for the past six months, brought Barr with him to help water and feed the big cats for the first time. Elder said his friend was standing outside the cage when a male tiger named "Hercules" jumped a 10 foot fence and latched on to Barr's leg.
"(Barr was yelling) 'Help, Roy, get him off, get him off, Roy get him to let go'. He never, you know, he never lost it," Elder said.
Elder punched the animal several times trying to free his friend's leg. When that didn't work, he said he ran to get one of the managers and a gun.
"We couldn't shoot him having Jacob still, so I ran 30 feet and grabbed a pick ax. I hit him in the head, he let go and he was shot," Elder said.
Barr has undergone two surgeries, one to remove his right leg up to his knee.
As for Elder, he said he's blaming himself for the accident.
"Cause I brought him out there. I've always looked out for Jacob, he is like my little brother," he said.
Friends said Barr does not have health insurance. Donation buckets are being distributed to area stores in Warren County. Friends have planned a benefit breakfast, with details expected to be released later on KSDK.com.
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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