So what was this lion doing there in the first place? The first clue is probably in the fact that it was on Mexican national TV. Now, we don’t want to make fun of our brothers and sisters down south, but their TV is, to put it bluntly, a little bit weird. Ever seen a Mexican telenovela? Those kinds of far out, bizarre plotlines are totally normal to them.
The TV show in question was called Con Sello De Mujer, which basically translates to “with a women’s seal”. In other words, it was a show by women and for women. Women put their stamp on the topics and issues of the show. Covering a variety of topics from a woman’s perspective, it ran for a full nine years before being abruptly canceled. With incidents like this one, it’s not exactly hard to see why.
Setting The Lion Off
Today on Con Sello De Mujer was a day like no other. As the host and the mother chatted (presumably about lions – we can’t fully understand the Spanish but it’s hard to imagine they’d ignore the most interesting topic in the room), no-one could see what was about to happen. Even the young lion, with his two handlers, was acting cool, calm, and collected. Then the toddler started to cry, and the situation went to shit in an instant.
Animal experts who have reviewed the clip have come to the same conclusion: that it was the particular high pitch of the baby’s whine that set the lion off. See, lions aren’t that much different from regular cats and dogs – the frequencies they hear are a little different to us squishy humans. Higher frequencies are especially different, and they hear them much louder than we do. A baby crying for them, is like a jet engine roaring into our bedroom for us.
The lion jumps up and goes straight for the source of the noise, grabbing the girl in both its paws. It all happens within a couple of instants, and the TV show host and the handlers are too stunned to react straight away. Something else kicks in for the mother, though. It’s not fear or indecision – it’s just simple maternal instinct. She’s ready to defend her child at a moment’s notice.
So the Mexican mother jumps up, almost at the same time as the lion, and fights for control of her child. Though her reflexes are admirable, and although she’s almost as fast as the big cat, she’s no match for it, strength-wise. The mother tries to pull the girl back to safety, but the lion has her well and truly clamped between those big paws. There’s no chance she’ll be able to do this on her own…
By this time, the lion trainers and the TV host have gotten over their initial shock. They leap into the fray, adding numbers and much needed strength to this epic tug-of-war. Even so, it looks like the lion is not going to budge an inch. Confused and unwilling to back down, it grips the toddler ever tighter, as the toddler keeps screaming in fear. Nobody knows what to do but keep pulling.
For a while it looks like it’ll end up a bloodbath. The lion tamers have remembered their own training all of a sudden, and in Spanish they yell at the mother and host to relax, to not provoke the animal, and to not move any further. They know that the more the lion gets freaked out, the more it’s going to go wild. Though let’s be honest – it’s a pretty tough ask of a mother, telling her to “relax” while her child’s on the verge of being cat food.
It Gets Worse
All this time, the child has (understandably) not stopped screaming. But this screaming, of course, is only making the whole situation worse. It’s riling up the lion, who didn’t like the pitch of her voice in the first place. So the lion starts nipping at the kid, still holding on with its paws but getting a few experimental bites in there as well. And guess what? This only makes the baby cry more. And the lion gets more ferocious.
It’s a vicious cycle, and it doesn’t look like this struggle is ever going to end. All in all, it’s pretty lucky that it’s only a young lion on set, and not a fully-grown pride leader. Both male and female lions – when they’ve reached adulthood – have the size, weight, and strength to kill a man in one swift swipe. They could have crushed this toddler in an instant.
Finally, They Manage To Get Her Away
Just when it looks like this will end in a bloodbath, it’s all over. The trainers manage to calm the lion sufficiently to lessen its grip, and the mother and show host finally pull the child from the jaws of the beast. The mother takes her baby a few meters away from the lion, but it’s not really necessary. After all the excitement, the lion looks like it’s had enough. It’s missed out on lunch, so it’s just going to go off for a nap instead.
Shaken, the trainers lead the lion off-stage, no doubt to where they’ll have some pretty harsh words with the poor animal. Everyone in the audience is going wild, but everyone on stage is too shocked for words. There’s not much for the mother to do but hold her precious child, and do something very unexpected…
After It’s All Done, The Mother Just Laughs
Guess what the mother does? She laughs. She laughs and laughs and laughs. No screams, or storming off, or abusing the host of the TV show. No, she just holds her kid and laughs. It’s not the reaction the audience are expecting, that’s for sure.
But how should she have reacted? It’s true that laughing after such sudden and unexpected trauma seems, let’s be honest here, a little creepy. A little bit too much like a James Bond villain. On the other hand, it’s also not the most unnatural reaction to sudden stress. She’s happy. She – and her baby – are alive. She just been so petrified that all she can do now is thank the gods above for her stroke of dumb luck. Before you go judging her reaction, consider how you’ve acted in similar extreme and unexpected situations. Sure, there was probably a lot of cussing, but underneath it all there was no doubt the overwhelming urge to laugh like crazy.
And The Toddler Walks Away Unharmed
Let’s hope that after all this, when the toddler grows up and lives a normal life, that they don’t remember a single thing about the incident. Because if they did, it’s enough to make you go off the circus (or Africa) for life. But despite being bitten, squeezed, and roughly treated, the kid seems to have gotten away without any major injury – both emotionally and physically.
The best part of it is, in fact, that the toddler also walked away still holding the lollipop that she was sucking on before she was mauled by the lion. Throughout the whole ordeal, through being shaken and stirred, the toddler would give up anything but her lollipop. We couldn’t think of a more perfect example of the innocence of childhood than this baby never letting go of its candy. We also couldn’t think of a better metaphor for the obesity problem in North America.
What Have We Learned From All This?
If you haven’t watched the video of this brutal ordeal, now’s the time to do it. We can describe it all we like, but nothing will put into words the sheer terror evident on the faces of this TV show. Nothing we say can quite prepare you for the swift and terrible violence on screen. So you’ll just have to watch it for yourself.
What we will tell you, though, is our opinion on the whole thing. It’s not a complicated one. Basically, there’s so much potential in TV. So many avenues and ideas and wacky stunts that haven’t yet been tried out. There’s all kinds of dramatic storylines and silly little game shows that we really couldn’t run out of quality shock TV programs if we tried. So for the love of God, don’t ever think that bringing a lion onto a TV set is ever a good plan. Come up with another one.