Inside the Life of an Animal Trainer

ABC?s Dan Harris looks at the people who spend their lives with dangerous animals.
3:00 | 08/19/12

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Transcript for Inside the Life of an Animal Trainer
trainer getting his arm stuck in the jaws of an alligatorade headlines lately. Animals who at any moment can bite the hand that feeds. All right. Reporter: Face to face with some of the fearsome beasts on earth. Have a look at that. See those teeth? Animal planet host and trainer shows no fe hey, hey! Get out of here! Reporter: From getting dangerously close to a lion's cub. Where is your mommy? Reporter: To taking the own cut of a lion. He walks a fine line of curiousness and terrify. He was cool, calm and utterly in control. The consummate predator whispererer. To keep myself safe is reading the animal. You're always watching the posture, what they're saying to you. Reporter: Are you ever not scared? I'm never scared. Reporter: I'm definitely scared. I'm 100% scared. But he has tested fear. Terror, in fact. 13 years ago, when he was just starting out, a 500-pound lion turned on him. As he came up on my throat, i gave him my forearm to block him. He tried to drag me to the ground to kill me. Reporter: Were you terrified in. Yes. The first time I ever feeling true fear. Reporter: It's a harsh lesson and one learned repeatedly by anim trainers. Thousands of people have watched the attacks on youtube. From kangaroos to rampaging elephants. Two years ago at a hotel in las vegas, tourists filmed this lion suddenly attacking its trainer. He allows amateurs to me conduct an interview. With this very young, very docile, very relaxed animal you're thinking it's possible? There's no part of my brain that a's not focused on him right now. More than likely, he'll go after you before me. Reporter: Thank you. You're welcome. Reporter: Daveouraged me to give the lion a head butt. A standard lion greeting. Forehead to forehead. Watch this. Ready? If you put your head into there he'll bump you. Turns out some lions are skeptical about the news media. I know. You shouldn't do that. I was trying to be nice. I was trying to get him to greet you. You can imagine a lot of people who would hear your story and say this guy's nuts for continuing to do this. Right. I have been through it. So I'm willing to risk the fact that I may get killed but one of these animals because I love it so much. It's worth the risk? To me. To me that calculation that

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