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Chapter 14
It is interesting to note that the lion that is the mostamenable to the circus trainer's tricks is the one with thelowest social standing in the pride, the omega animal. It hasthe most to gain from a close relationship with the super-alphatrainer. It is not only a matter of extra treats. A closerelationship will also mean protection from the other membersof the pride. It is this compliant animal, to the public nodifferent from the others in size and apparent ferocity, that willbe the star of the show, while the trainer leaves the beta andgamma lions, more cantankerous subordinates, sitting on theircolourful barrels on the edge of the ring.
The same is true of other circus animals and is also seen inzoos. Socially inferior animals are the ones that make the moststrenuous, resourceful efforts to get to know their keepers.
They prove to be the ones most faithful to them, most in needof their company, least likely to challenge them or be difficult.
The phenomenon has been observed with big cats, bison, deer,wild sheep, monkeys and many other animals. It is a factcommonly known in the trade.


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