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Locked: Amazing Tiger attack at African Lion Safari

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  • Jan 28th, 2005 11:22 pm
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[OP]
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Nov 19, 2002
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Amazing Tiger attack at African Lion Safari

Incredible, they've taught the tigers to pick locks and open car doors in order to attack visitors.


Life tough after tiger attack
Victim's arm muscles destroyed
Family also suing over son's injuries

TRACEY TYLER
LEGAL AFFAIRS REPORTER

A Stoney Creek photographer says the music stopped "completely" in his family's home the day a tiger jumped through the window of his car at the African Lion Safari and mauled his accordion-playing son.

"In order to play, you've got to have good movement in your fingers," Ranko Balac testified in the Superior Court of Justice yesterday.

Balac's son David, 31, and David's former girlfriend Jennifer-Anne Cowles, 28, are suing the Rockton game park for injuries they suffered on April 19, 1996, when Paka, a 2.1-metre-long, 113-kilogram female Bengal tiger, came through their passenger window.

David Balac underwent several surgeries and skin grafts to his right arm and hand, and continues to suffer from chronic pain, memory loss and depression, the court heard. In addition to having his arm muscles destroyed and nerves and tendons crushed, Balac developed an infection from bacteria in the tiger's saliva, Madam Justice Jean MacFarland was told.

Meanwhile, Cowles, who was pregnant at the time, says disfiguring scars on her right hip and scalp have effectively ended her career as an exotic dancer. The court was told a tiger bite can exert 544 kilograms of pressure per square inch.

Ranko Balac has also filed a lawsuit. He, his wife Slavka and daughter Sandra have brought claims against the park under the Family Law Act, alleging that David's injuries deprived them of his guidance, care and companionship, and forced them to provide extra nursing and housekeeping services.

Earlier this week, David Balac testified that he took accordion lessons for 10 years and played in several competitions. His parents bought him several accordions, including one worth $3,000, he said.

Ranko Balac said his wife still cries when she looks at her son's arm.

"Was she the type of person who cried before the tiger attack?" asked Bruce Haines, the Balacs' lawyer.

"Never," Balac replied. The incident has also been tough on him, he added, removing his glasses and wiping his eyes.

In a statement of defence filed with the court, the safari says Balac and Cowles ignored signs posted around the park warning them to keep their windows up and not to feed the animals.

David Balac, who was driving his father's 1988 Honda Prelude, conceded he might have hit the driver's-side window button with his feet when he was struggling to free his arm from Paka's jaw. But he said he knows the passenger-side window was up when they entered the tiger preserve.

Under cross-examination by Doug Wright, a lawyer representing the park, Ranko Balac admitted that when he went to the game park the day after the attack to pick up his car, none of the windows appeared to be shattered, even though he noticed damage to the doors.

"When you show up and see both windows are closed and don't appear to be damaged, you might wonder how tigers got into the car," Wright suggested.

"Yes, I ask myself how," Balac agreed.

"It would seem to be a bit of a mystery, wouldn't it?" Wright asked.

"I don't know how they got into the car," he said.

The trial continues tomorrow.
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Deal Expert
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Jun 14, 2003
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deep wrote:Incredible, they've taught the tigers to pick locks and open car doors in order to attack visitors.
No, the tiger got a radio transmitter and opened the door remotely. :cheesygri
[OP]
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I just thank god that that's one more pregnant stripper we won't see at Jilly's, and one more accordian player we'll never hear a squak from again.
Deal Guru
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Mar 17, 2004
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Yes, they have one of those and know what the press. They evolved!!!!!!!

Image

There's always people looking for quick money, especially in the States. A pathetic attempt, no less
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Jul 13, 2003
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awh no pics or video :(
"It's a case of mind over matter. I don't mind, and you don't matter" - Bret Hart
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Jul 21, 2003
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Memory loss from a bite on the arm? Umm, yeah, o.k.
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jory29 wrote:Memory loss from a bite on the arm? Umm, yeah, o.k.
You'll be amazed what people sue for. Heck, if the trauma casued him to constipate, I'd bet he'd be suing for more too. :twisted:
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Nov 19, 2003
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A Place to Stand
Had the window been smashed or something out of the ordinary happened that pointed towards negligence on the parks behalf, I can clearly understand the lawsuit....but I mean, c'mon .... how did it get in.
"I don't know how they got into the car," he said.
Is this the best this guy can do when asked how it did?? And 8 years later?? I know that accordian players are highly sought after these days what with Britney Spears changing from a Pop act to a Polka act, but really, what BS.
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Oct 20, 2004
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Welland
A few comments:

1. Your entering a park full of wild animals and open your windows. ASKING FOR IT.

2. I didn't know "exotic dancing" was a career. I never saw the borchure in career couselling in high school.

3. Her "career" was already over if she was pregnant.

4. This is just a desparate attempt at a money grab. In instances like this it's unfortunate that the "victims" didn't get eaten up.

Sympathy from me: NONE :evil:
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Aug 18, 2003
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Waterloo
I think the park should use the "human stupidty" defense.

How dumb can you be to drive through African Lion safari and leave your windows down during the tigers?

While they were at it they should have gone through the baboons while sitting on the roof.
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Carnage wrote:While they were at it they should have gone through the baboons while sitting on the roof.
What do you know, they might very well have. With such intelligence, the baboons probably out-smarted them and figured their scheme trying to scam money from the park.
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Nov 12, 2003
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I hope these people lose, not much credibility when the victim is a 'exotic dancer' Ohhhhhhh yeeah, shes going places.
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Feb 16, 2003
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Peterborough, ON
I'm guessing he tried to pet the cat and it didn't like it.
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Aug 18, 2003
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Waterloo
c h u d wrote:I'm guessing he tried to pet the cat and it didn't like it.
Actually I think he bonked it on the nose with a microphone.

Oh wait, wrong tiger attack. ;)
Jr. Member
Aug 26, 2004
133 posts
It is all a huge conspiracy with the baboons!!

They were the ones who let the tigers into the car. They couldnt take the accordion music much longer so they made a pact with the nearby tigers. The deal was that the tigers got a Happy Meal to go (family in car) and they got some peace and quiet.

The only reason the victims have not mentioned the baboons at all in their story is because the baboons later threatened to harm the pregnant stripper's un-born baby if word got out that they knew how to open car doors. Sadly, the tigers are the ones who got screwed in all of this.

Those evil, conniving baboons!
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