How Long have People Been Training Lions and How Dangerous is the Profession?

Although lions are not exactly the most cooperative animals, people have been training them since nearly the beginning of recorded history.

circus lion and no trainer

The annals say that the Egyptian pharoah Ramses II (1290-1224 B.C.) had a tame lion that he took into battle as a mascot, and the Roman emperor Elagabalus (A.D. 218-222) paraded in a chariot that was pulled by lions.

The secret to training lions, or house cats, for that matter, is patience and kindness, always remembering that they’re never completely tame, they always have the potential to attack with little or no warning.

As a result of this unpredictability, lion trainers who get too comfortable around their felines often end up mauled or even killed.