‘Must be good with whips’ - Agency’s ‘lion tamer’ job advert attracts several serious applications

Lion cubs at Africa Alive in Kessingland, near Lowestoft.

Lion cubs at Africa Alive in Kessingland, near Lowestoft. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A spoof job advertisement for a lion tamer placed as a test by a recruitment agency has been viewed thousands of times - and has even attracted some serious applications.

A lion tamer, pictured in Great Yarmouth in 1961. Picture: Archant library

A lion tamer, pictured in Great Yarmouth in 1961. Picture: Archant library

While testing a new website server, Norwich-based Gratis Job decided to place an advert looking for a lion tamer in Great Yarmouth.

The advert specified the successful applicant would need to be “able to control at least six lions”, “must be good with whips” and that “experience of putting head in the mouth of a lion” was “essential”.

It also promised perks including “free candy floss” and that it was a temporary position.

The joke advert, however, appeared to go over the head of some who viewed it, with the agency receiving several expressions of interest.


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Gary Barnes, of Gratis Jobs, said: “We placed the ad as a test, but it went mental. It was viewed thousands of more times than others generally reached and we even had quite a few applications.

“I think some people were playing along, but others appeared to be much more serious, listing their strengths and prior experience of animal handling.

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“One woman in particular explained in great detail about how they felt positive reinforcement was a much more effective way of training animals than using whips.”

In June of last year, the government agreed to ban the use of wild animals in circus performance, a ban which formally became law in January this year.

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