In my opinion, the recent news reports about tigers attacking human beings tell us as much about human stupidity as they tell us about the dangerous nature of tigers.The most prominent of these stories, the mauling of magician and animal trainer Roy Horn by a white tiger during a show at the Mirage Casino Hotal in Las Vegas, clearly shows how dangerous it is for humans to play around with tigers. Horn, despite an attack-free history of over 5,000 public performances with tigers and lions, was suddenly and without warning attacked by the animal, who bit down on the entertainer's head and neck and carried him away like newly captured prey. After two emergency surgeries during the first twelve hours after the attack, Horn had suffered massive blood loss, extensive traumatic injuries to his head and neck, and a stroke brought on by the shock of the attack. Forty-eight hours after the attack Horn was still in the hospital unable to speak and could only wiggle his fingers and move his toes a little. While Horn's story really dramatizes how dangerous tigers can be, what the other tiger attack stories seem to illustrate even better is just how stupidly human beings can behave. An account on news.com.au, for example, tells us that one day last week an American soldier in Baghdad who was "drunk on beer" while at the Baghdad Zoo unwisely reached through the bars of a cage to feed a tiger a treat and got his arm severely mauled. Another story a few days later on that same website recounts how a worker in a zoo in Queensland, Australia, carelessly startled a two-year-old Bengal tiger who was being led through a dark passageway between two public display areas. The startled tiger atttacked, and the zoo worker required quite a few stitches to close the wounds to his legs. And the most recent tiger attack story, as reported at www.japantoday.com, tells us about a resident of Harlem in New York City who was bitten by the 150-pound young tiger he was keeping in his apartment along with a three-foot long alligator. Of course it's true that tigers are dangerous, but the stories I have seen lately seem to me to indicate that most people who have gotten hurt have been pretty much victims of their own stupidity.
(The paragraph above is approximately 400 words in length.)
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