Barnum Bailey Circus ~ The Big Cat Care Clinic
I had the opportunity to attend the Barnum Bailey Circus Big Cat Care Clinic today and wasn’t sure what to expect. A few days ago, we had the opportunity to visit the Pie Car, which by the way was also amazing. The Big Cat Care Clinic was put on by the trainer Alexander Lacey, and explained to us all about the big furry cats.
Lacey is a native of England who grew up working in his parent’s zoo. The Lacey family has raised more than 11 generations of lions and nine generations of tigers and continues to develop methods to maintain the integrity of the various bloodlines within the cats’ lineages. Alexander Lacey has earned numerous awards and accolades, including “Best of the Best” at the Circus Festival in Monte Carlo, Silver Clown award in Monaco, and the Chapiteau de Crystal Award in France.
It was amazing to watch how the tigers and lion listened to him and he was even able to give some of them kisses. Others made some growling noises at him, but never got out of control.
The tigers eat about 600 lbs of meat a day and sleep up to 22 hours a day. He said some are better than others at doing certain things. One of the tigers was able to walk on their hind legs across the floor and he can only kiss certain ones, like the Masai the lion. Masai is just one of the 6 lions in circus and Alexander speaks to them in English and German and also commands them using hand signals.
Alexander trains the lions and tigers by putting pieces of meat on the end of the stick. They are actually very lazy animals and if one of them is having an off day, Alex will leave them out of the circus that day. Except for a few scratches from their claws, he has never been seriously injured.
I must say that the entire show was absolutely amazing. There are 2 days left to see the Ringling Bros Circus in Orlando and you won’t be disappointed.
Tickets Prices and Shows
Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster for Saturday and Sunday performances are: $75 (Front Row), $40 (Premium Seats), $30, $23 and $16.
Saturday, January 11 at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 12 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.