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Tiger Kills Trainer As 200 Children Watch In Horror

Thu., May 8, 1997

As a circus audience of 200 children and their families watched in horror, a 400-pound Bengal tiger pounced on its trainer, killing the man and dragging him around the ring by the neck.

The tiger, one of three in the ring, attacked 50-year-old Wayne Franzen a few seconds after Wednesday night’s performance began, authorities said. The animal attacked when Franzen, the owner of Franzen Bros. Circus, turned his back.

“They said this animal grabbed him by the neck and just dragged him all around,” said the Rev. Blane Resko of St. Benedict Catholic School, which was holding the circus fund-raiser.

“They tried to beat him off, but they couldn’t get him off until he was dead,” said Resko. “The little girl that was the announcer was very disturbed. She was in the ambulance crying.”

The tiger was under quarantine. No decision has been made on what to do with the animal, the Cambria County coroner said.


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