Family says goodbye to lion

Avatar BCR | May 23, 2007 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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Family says goodbye to lion  


Wednesday, 23 May 2007 

By Andru McCracken


The mauling death of a woman in Bridge Lake by a Siberian tiger has caused a local family to give up a lion cub they have been caring for.


News that 32 year-old Tanya Dumstrey-Soos was killed as she was petting the tiger, swept across the province and has evoked promises from the Minister of Agriculture for new legislation regarding exotic animals. The Froese family have been taking care of their lion cub since January.


“It was a hard call, but it was not worth tainting a bunch of relationships and having a bunch of people mad at you,” said Irene Froese.


She said that her husband Bud’s purchase of the lion was something she fought tooth and nail against.


“Now I’m having a hard time letting go,” she said.


The lion was six months old. Irene said that lions are usually confined to a cage by 3 months, but because of the lion’s temperament and early handling, he was allowed to be out.


“All day long he was out and fine here,” she said. “His full sister was in a cage three months ago and was very nasty.”


“Someone had donated us a bunch of chain link fence and we were getting ready to make him a big run. He was just like another dog in the yard. Not all of them have that kind of temperament and maybe handling had something to do with it too.”


She said that they would feed the lion in his cage.


Irene said that because of his age, he would have been permanently confined to a cage in a month.


About the mauling death of the woman in Bridge Lake, Irene said she feels bad, but believes it was the woman’s fault and not the tigers. “I feel really bad for that woman, but she made some bad calls. You can see that it doesn’t take much for an animal to quickly turn and go different, even with the buffalo.”


Irene said that having the lion on the farm wasn’t like seeing one in captivity.


“It’s neat for people to have these experiences, to see these creatures. They are incredible. You get your face up close to a lion and you say, wow, are you ever awesome,” she said.



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