Trainers in the Crosshairs

Even trainers like Animal Planet host Dave Salmoni have tasted fear.
3:00 | 08/17/12

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Transcript for Trainers in the Crosshairs
Face to face with some of the most fearsome peace on earth kind of look -- -- these -- he does it. Animal Planet host and trainer gave -- -- -- shows no fear I. I had them from getting dangerously. Well lions club you mommy if she didn't come -- we didn't taking his own content alliance hill and children's home. He walks a fine line between courage and craziness yeah. -- yeah and eats at me into a tiger enclosure you know I was petrified -- -- You know you're nervous yeah. He was cool com utterly in control. Big consummate predator whisper. The best strategy and technique -- keep -- -- is just -- -- you're always watching -- -- you're always watching. What they're saying to you -- -- always -- are you ever not scared. I'm never scared and I'm deaf prisoners. But night and partly scared -- hundred -- here. But ceremony has tasted fear terror in fact. Thirteen years ago when he was just starting out a 500 pound lion named bongo turned on him. As he came up -- throats and get my form instead to block them from getting to my throat some -- -- warm. And then try to -- -- to me and my legs underneath me and let him termites or were you terrified. Yeah that was the only time the first time I've ever remember feeling -- -- thinking ahead of dying right now I'm getting killed. -- -- -- -- -- -- No his arm healed his training career and he was at a crossroads and after that happened I knew they can never feel that fear again. You have to know all the time they could kill -- and -- Is about harsh lesson and one learned repeatedly by animal trainer. Is that people have watched the attacks on YouTube from boxing kangaroos. They -- rampaging elephants. Just last week in Ohio an alligator attacked his handler at a -- its trainer slits in the Gator bites down on these are. For 21 hits and -- seconds. Finally relented. At this circus in the Ukrainian city of would be. Known as this city alliance. Did tables were turned on the trainer. Years ago at a hotel in Las Vegas glorious film this -- suddenly attacking its candidate. It happens in the water in June this trainer was from Johnson. And -- And stunned again by a killer whale from. He's survived from. As -- dish strainer and dragged by his lying under water he made a frantic escape from -- although he decided to continue on working as a trainer and. But two years ago Don -- show a fourteen year veteran trainer lost her life to a six ton killer whales. What happens when the world's top creditor decides to go -- behavior. I can get ugly real quick. Doctor Jeff Dantre spent three years training killer whales at SeaWorld. He now says that captivity can read aggression -- taken a killer whale and putting them in a space that has won 101000. Of what they're used to being -- it's probably. Would be like living -- -- telephone booths -- alive for maybe in your bathroom. You might go a little crazy after awhile. Knowing the stakes is part of the job. Trainer Randy Miller and his company -- called predators in action. Specialize in so called stage attacks. Mock attacks -- look real but -- back carefully choreographed for doing behaviors they normally do anyway but on Q. He's the guy actually wrestling this tiger in the movie gladiator. And his -- in the movie semi -- You know you have any animal that's you know 5600 pounds. Is doing everything -- can you know two to -- -- down and hold -- down and and chew on you. Usually you can read these guys and there's a problem you can see it but. It's fast things can turn fast. This attack happened at lightning speed that is grandes cousin Stevie his best friend. The bear rocky suddenly lunged. And and I made every effort to stop -- because I knew I knew it was -- you know wasn't. The more we tried. The more the bear tried to hang time he gripped them harder it is only for five seconds we got the bear off. Tragically -- died of a single bite to the neck. Before that day I was pretty fearless it to be a little bit of time to regain. Trust in the animals. I mean one thing and never changed -- run for the animals. That's that's really what kept -- together. That love for animals is what can't gave ceremony in the game to somebody. Just one day after his brush with -- -- -- lion named -- good morning he discharged himself from the hospital and went to see the lion. I remember what -- myself -- tubes and a very dramatic. So that caught a cab to please -- line is being kept -- Reggie is there remember and immediately and all the passion all the -- moment. That sense of of right the sense of self all came back and -- -- I need to keep doing this. Today's ceremony is confident enough in his -- to allow managers like need to conduct our entire interview. With a wild animal at our side in the back -- -- -- even with this very young very docile very relaxed animal you're thinking it's possible. There is no part of a loyal eye contact -- you there's no part of my brain that isn't focused on him right now and knowing that. You know more unlikely got a good for you before it was after meeting that's good on his stuff to. As really comforting thought -- thank you are welcome. -- -- stage even heard immediately in the lion heads -- which apparently is standard line -- -- put your head down and four -- afford to Milan. Is the dumbest thing I've ever done and television watch this -- When notified this you know he's -- an -- at all. Turns out -- lions are skeptical about the nudity and the hope that doesn't really haven't -- -- yeah. Can't agree. I'm just plain devil's advocate where you can imagine there are a lot of people who hear your. Story and say this guy's nuts right for continuing to do that -- certainly I have lived my life since I started working big cats the knowledge that is a great chance that I could. Be killed by the very thing that I love so much. I've been through it. So I'm willing to risk the fact that I may get killed by one of these animals because I love -- so much it's worth the risk to -- Good --

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