Watch as NatGeo photographer gets jumped by a giant tiger-lion mix
Photographer Steve Winter was recently working on a story about captive tigers in the US for the December issue of National Geographic. While he was taking photos, a 275-pound mix of lion and tiger jumped on him, and the whole incident was caught on camera.
View this post on Instagram
Jumped by a 275-pound "ti-liger” on assignment in Oklahoma—working on “The Tiger Next Door," a story on captive tigers in the US for the December National Geographic Magazine. See the link in my bio for the full story in the Dec issue of @natgeo.🎬 Video by Nick Ruggia @rujigga. Langely, an 18 month-old lion-tiger mix was discarded after he grew too big and dangerous for cub-petting and photo ops at Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. He was adopted by Safari Sanctuary in Broken Arrow, OK, where he's lived inside a house and is walked around the property on a leash like a pet. He was still young and playful—and charged me when I was squatting to photograph him. I was unhurt. Safari Sanctuary is no longer open to the public. My experiences shooting this story raised many questions. Most people don’t know that there are more tigers living in captivity in the United States than still survive in the wild; visitors are wrongly led to believe they’re helping conservation when they visit these attractions. Tigers that are crossed with lions have very serious health problems; these two species do not interbreed in nature and this is done strictly to attract tourists. There are also public safety issues: there is no national law on big cat ownership and Oklahoma has no state law on owning big cats. The Big Cat Public Safety Act, currently in the US Senate and the House, would better protect both animals and the public. #tiger @natgeo
The video was filmed by Nick Ruggia in Safari Sanctuary in Oklahoma. It shows the moment when the big cat jumps on the photographer and the animal keeper is trying to restrain it. The “ti-liger” is an 18-month old lion-tiger mix, discarded after he grew too big and dangerous for cub-petting and photo ops at Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. “He was adopted by Safari Sanctuary in Broken Arrow, OK, where he’s lived inside a house and is walked around the property on a leash like a pet,” Winter explains in his Instagam post.
The animal is still young and playful, so this “attack” is something a kitten would do when it just wants to play. But when the “kitten” weighs almost 300 pounds, I believe that even playfulness could end in serious injuries. Fortunately, no one was hurt during the incident even though it looks pretty darn scary.