Most people prefer to be on the outside of a lion's cage. However, there are those who have made their careers by braving the lion's den and taming lions. If you would like to know more about lion taming, have a go at this quiz.
A lion's mouth opens to 1 foot wide (31 cm). This is larger than a human head! They also have claws three inches long.
Henri Martin, a French circus performer, entered the cage with a tiger during a performance in 1819, shocking the audience when he came out unharmed. He developed his act to eventually incorporate lions, becoming the first lion tamer.
Isaac Van Amburgh was the first American lion tamer. He would act out scenes from the Bible with his lions, using a lamb or even children from the audience as part of his act. He has been credited by many historians as the first man to put his head in a lion's mouth.
Isaac Van Amburgh beat his lions into submission, sometimes using a crowbar.
Clyde Beatty was famous for using the chair method to tame lions. He also used a whip and pistol.
Cats are single-minded creatures and can only focus on one thing at a time. The points of the chair's four legs being swung around by the trainer confuses the lions and they lose their train of thought. This distracts them from wanting to claw the lion tamer.
Animal welfare groups have had their say and the cruel techniques once used to train lions are no longer used. Today, repetition, trust and encouragement are used to train lions. Whips may still be used but only to distinguish between the personal space of the trainer and the lion.
These days, most trained lions are born in captivity and are raised by their trainers as cubs. This allows them to bond as they develop.
Operant conditioning is the theory used by most animal trainers. It was developed by B.F. Skinner and works on the principle that behavior can be shaped by reinforcement. For example, if a lion moves in the desired way after a being given a particular cue, they are rewarded with food and eventually moves that way when just the cue is given.
Siegfried and Roy ran their Vegas tiger act successfully for 10 years. During a performance in 2003, their prized tiger, Montecore, attacked Roy, leaving him partially paralyzed and crushing his windpipe.