Tigers leap through wall of fire to safety
updated 4:59 p.m. EDT, Mon October 27, 2008
BERLIN, Germany (AP) — Three Siberian tigers leapt through a wall of fire to safety from a burning truck Monday on the orders of their circus ringmaster.
The tigers drew on their experiences of leaping through fiery rings during performances to escape a fire on the truck taking them between shows in northwestern Germany, said circus owner Daniel Renz.
Circus workers were on hand to round up the tigers from the highway after Renz ordered them to leap to safety early Monday and police closed the road to traffic.
“The three tigers used to jump through rings of fire in the ring, and that saved their lives,” said Renz.
Rescue workers saved three other tigers left behind in the 43-foot wagon during the 15-minute fire.
One tiger appeared to have suffered some smoke inhalation, but the other five were in good condition, Renz said.
Renz said his show would go on, as planned on October 30, but the six tigers involved in Monday’s blaze — Queeni, Aschima, Lena, Sonja, Sibi and Goldi — will be given a break and some of the circus’ seven other tigers will perform in their place.
The suspected cause was an overheated suspension system on the truck, said Renz.