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An Entire Menagerie Loose.

[Diamond Fields (Africa) "Advertiser. "] Shortly after 11 p.m. on the Ist June a general stampede of all' the animals comprising Fillis's menagerie took place. This appalling occurrence is attributed to a miscreant —at present at large—who, possessed of a grudge against Mr Fillis or members of his company, thought to pay it out by climbing on the fence of the enclosure m which the animals are kept, and, at imminent risk of his own life and limbsreleasing from their cage and chains th» whole of the wild'animals. This fiend m human shape is evidenly one well acquainted with the show, for not only has he exhibited a familiarity with the locks and bars vf the cages, but he selected the day and hour when the supervision of the animals was most relaxed. He appears to have made good his escape before the animals realised their freedom from restraint, and as the 'four employees who> slept on the premises have all fallen victims to the ferocity of the wild beasts, it is impossible to say at present if his; identity is known. About 11.30 the residents within a mile radius of the circus building were roused from their beds by a most fiendish and indescribable noise. The fierce roar of the lions, .the trumpeting of the elephant, the snarls and growls of the leopards^ cheetahs,. and jackals, the snarling bari of the wolves, the cries of the frightened horses, and the groans and screams of the mangled and dying employees made » sound which will never be forgotten by those who heard it. From whatj we <can gather the four male lions. Pasha, Abdul,'" Caliph, and Mustapha, upon discovering the door of the"il* ■ cage open, immediately proceeded to thd :'-\ stables, where the'large lion, Pasha, leaped on the back of Murat^ t|he jump* 1 ing horse, and fastened, his teeth m bis neck and*withers,>^lt<is reported that M has always borne this f horse a most unaccountable grudge, and invariably gave signs of displeasure and dislike when within sight of him. The horse's screams roused the four attendants, aiScofcclunahi-'; named Patterson and three Kaffir boys, and hastily arming themselves with stable forks, they rushed to the scene of the disturbance, evidently ignorant of the numerical strength of the foe they had t6 ;? contend with... These four gallant fellows met a fearful, death. From, the few last dying Words of on© of the Kaffir boys to Mr FilKs, when he arrived upon the, scene, it appears.that he and his mate*-,, when endeavoring to beat back the lion* Pasha, were attacked from the rear by the* three:bther lions and' one of thsetk©etah& ;• they were then literally tftm limb from . limb by the ferocious, brutes, and the scene of their death, is one ot indescribable horror. Haj^ng lasted blood, r ihe lions: (male and female), thjj cheetah^* the wolves, and the leopards seemed to regain all the ferocity, pf their class, and Mr, Fillis* four Hungarian horses, Sang dOr, Kremis, Lenore, and Etoile, and the performing horses,'Beauty'arid Black Bess, fell victims to their lust for blood. The elephant, frightened at the nq&fr, m iLs endeavor to escape burst through the heavy iron gate and rushed into Curry street followed by nearly the whole of the animals, who appear to have been startled by Bome^viiftg, whilst engaged m their worfe of carnage m the stables. A cabman residing at Beaconsfield ; named Nelsdn, had a narrow escape. Hearing the noise, he drove down from Ninth street to jsee.the animals rush out... He likens the sq&^'tQ the exit, from Noahfe Ark. An elephant came first, and a few seconda afterwards. tumbled out a confused mob of lions, wolves, hyennas,. baboons, leopards, cheetahs, and jackals. The wolves, with the instinct of their, race^ immediately rufched Nelson's horses^ and two of the lions attacked them also. Strange to.,say, fchey'left the man himself unmolested, and he managed to climb up a post at Glover's Athletic Bar and secure his safety m one of fcherooms. When last he saw his horses they were galloping madly down the Dutoitspan road, snorting and screaming with fear and pain, followed by the wolves and two of the lions. The remainder of the animal^ Nelson says, dispersed m all directions ; but the man appears to be so unstrung by his terrible experiences tliafc nothv ing coherent can be obtained, from him at present We have as yofe beard of bufc one death since the animate left the circus buildings. A little child named James Grindley, a son of Mr Grindley, produce dealer, happened to be m the back of his father's promises m his night shirt. He noticed: a cheetah which had taken refuge there, and with the fearlessness pf childhood walked up to it. His agonised mother, Iron* her bedroom windpw, saw the brute lay her darling prostrate with one blow of its paw, and then mangle him beyond a$ recognition. We have ©Ik tailed from Mr Fillis-—who is, of course, terribly distressed by the fearful oc» «urrence, but bears it as ■». biave man should—a full list of animate at large:— Four lions, 2 lionesses^ % tigers, 3 bears,. 2 wolves, 1 hyena, $ cheetahs, 4 jackals,, 1 elephant, 1 camel, and 17 baboons. Only two of these animals have aa yet been appouated for* Mr Murchisan, residing on Dutoitspan road, having been awakened by the noise, was looking out of his bedroom window, ajad seeing a jackal run across the yard* shot it dead with his revolver. Our G.0.M., Mr Goodchild, was aroused by the, shrieks of his parrot, and. getting ©rat of his bed to see the cause/ observed to his horror an enormous lion crouching under the tress m the front garden. With) great presence of mind he took down his Martini-Henri rifle, and, firing through the window, shot it between the eyes, dead. The whol* of the police, armed to the teeth, ar«, scouring the surrounding district, and the- town itself;

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900820.2.14

Bibliographic details

An Entire Menagerie Loose., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2496, 20 August 1890

Word Count
990

An Entire Menagerie Loose. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2496, 20 August 1890

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