Tiger Play in South Africa with John ‘Tigerman’ Wagenaar

Tiger Play in South Africa with John ‘Tigerman’ Wagenaar


John: I’ve been working with cats since I was 9 years old. I started working with domestic
cats. When I was 18 I moved over to working with lions and then 5 years ago, I started
working with the world’s biggest cats, which are Siberian tigers. The best thing about working with a big cat is that is just to go inside with them and
have the relationship that I’ve got with them. It’s like having a child. The biggest asset that I have is a lot of other people were training the cats and I
didn’t agree with hitting them with sticks and using weapons like they use in circuses,
so I wanted to find a way of training these animals where you don’t have to that type
of stuff. I’ve named my training method ‘love training’ instead of fear-based training. Now with love
training, you don’t hit them with a stick or a weapon like that, you use milk. The first time they meet you, you put a bottle of milk in their mouth, so if you carry on
doing that, you’re reminding them everyday of who you are in their lives. No matter how
big they are When Hellen was small, when she was growing up, I used to put hair gel in my hair and
go into her quarters where I used to feed her, so she accosted the milk, the hair gel
with mum, who I was, right? So now what you see is the tiger lying on top of me, licking
my hair, but what it is actually is she’s grooming her mum.

42 thoughts on “Tiger Play in South Africa with John ‘Tigerman’ Wagenaar

  1. During "Tiger vs Lion" debate, fans only use 'fandom' and not the 'wisdom'. So, here is how you should draw the conclusion about which Big Cat is stronger. Directly comparing both the majestic beasts would not yield any result. We have to do it like Crime Scene Investigation. You know, the investigators not only look for the clues directly from the crime spot but also elsewhere. Many times, the clue lies far away from the crime scene; similarly, we have to look into the enemies/competitors of both the big cats to exactly know how much courage & power these cats have. Also, this will be one-on-one case study. In this way, it will give us the precise result of how tiger and lion deal with their enemy. So, lets begin-

    Enemies/Competitors of Lion:

    1. Jackal~ It's too small and weak to be a threat for a lion. Lions can very easily deal with it.
    2. Cheetah~ It's also too fragile and small to take on lion. No problem for a lion to deal with it.
    3. Leopard~ It's an apex predator but in comparison to lion, it is small and weak. No threat for the lion.
    4. Wild-Dog~ A large pack might be able to instil little bit fear into juvenile males and inexperienced lioness but, we are talking here one-on-one; hence, a single wild dog is no match for any lion. It's an easy prey for the lion. So, no problem for the lion here too.
    5. Hyena~ Ok, so a pack of hyena is capable of confronting sub-adult males and lionesses. Sometimes, they even dare to harass the adult male lion but, one-on-one, hyena stands no chance. So, lion can easily handle a single hyena.
    6. Lion~ Now here, lion against lion. They have similar strength, weakness, weapons, stamina and fighting style.

    There is no other similar sized or bigger predator where lion is found; hence, we can see that lion's biggest enemy is another lion. NOTE: I have deliberately left out crocodile. They are neither enemy nor competitor. They are opportunist reptiles which are capable of killing anything in water. Even on land, they can't be easily subdued leave alone killing it (it is obvious that we are talking about the adult crocs).

    Enemies/Competitors of Tiger:

    1. Jackal~ It's too small and weak to be a threat for a tiger. Tigers can very easily deal with it.
    2. Cheetah~ No cheetah is found where tiger lives. So, no competition.
    3. Leopard~ It's a powerful predator but, in comparison to tiger, it is small and weak. Tiger actively kills leopard. So, not a threat for the tiger.
    4. Wolf~ In some places, tiger and wolf co-exist. However, those wolves are not as big as the grey wolf but still, it's a wolf. A large pack of wolf might be able to instil fear into the heart of tiger but one-on-one, wolf stands no chance against a tiger. So, no problem for the tiger here too.
    5. Dhole~ Alright, so we all have read/heard how a large pack of 20 dholes (wild dog) attacked a tiger and mauled it to death but, in the process, lost 12 of their own members! We still don't know how a solitary tiger deals with a large pack of dholes but, we sure know that a single dhole pose no threat for a tiger. So, easy win for the tiger here.
    6. Tiger~ A tiger against a tiger. They have similar strength, weakness, weapons, stamina and fighting style.
    7. Bear~ Now this one is serious. Bear is not only similar sized but even, bigger than tiger with immense power in their muscles & bones. They also have much better energy, higher stamina, powerful jaws & claws and the ability to very well balance themself on the hind leg while in the standing position. And, unlike tiger, they don't have to worry about the wounds because they are omnivorous so, they can easily survive on veg diet. Bear is also blessed with dense fur/hair and thick hide (skin). They are also protected with lots of fat. Bear also has much better front paw/hand mobility than the tiger and, top of that, bear has bad temperament. So, to deal with such a blessed enemy, tiger has to be a lot stronger. They should be able to stand and well-balance themself on their hind legs while fighting with bear; must have big & powerful paws to swipe/slap/slash deep wounds on bear; must have immensely powerful jaws to hold & subdue the bear; must have long canines to cut through the dense hair/fur .. then sink into thick hide .. then cut the veins/muscles and then, break the powerful bones. Also, tiger has to be brave & intelligent to confront such a powerful foe.

    Thus, we can see that the tiger's biggest enemy is not another tiger but, a bear which is, one-on-one, not only equally but greatly matched. And even after so much of extra power in the bear, they become the menu of tiger. Ok, tigers are not always the winner; they too get defeated but, moral of the story is- Tiger is built to take on huge bear. Holding the bear with its big & thick neck is not as easy as holding the hyena from its neck. And remember, bear is also a good tree climber; so, there is no escape route for tiger if something goes wrong. So, tiger has to have enough physical & psychological power to face such a formidable enemy.

    I hope that finally I am able to put the rest on the debate about who is stronger between Tiger and Lion. It's ….. Tiger.

  2. Tricking and trains are 2 different things.And you are only reminding them of one thing, you are giving them food and milk.It's like how there are signs that day don't feed wild animals.They'll be attracted to yoh

  3. these shows really do show you lions and tigers can be trusting and kind to human its amazing how do cuddles them and unbelievable how he supports them everyday he's one lucky man I adore tigers and love lions they are so mischievous and playful just how long has he had these beautiful creatures absolutely mind blows me guys

  4. nature didn't create big cats to be trained by humans, so regardless how you train them is unnatural, they must be free in their natural enviroment, is like if a day an alien specie will come on planet earth and start enclose and train human being, love or not is not what we are born for.

  5. i am tiger fan but seriusly bro we should not compare these too big cats these debate is unbeatable both have different, abilities, strenght,beauty roar,, diffferent their own area, thier own territory, their different life styles and also their own diferent rules we should not compare them both are amazing and beautiful cats if you want a quote and sign of tiger and lion both are little bit different in their sign (tiger) sign and name represents willpower, loyalty, courage,mightiness, energy, generosity, boldness and vitality. and (lion) sign and name represents courage , domination majesty, nobility, pride and strenght etc in the last i say both are amazing cats today tiger are less in number around the world plzz plzz save their generation otherwise they are going to extints.

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