I think animals were put here to teach us how to treat each other. Their lives are simple. They only do what they were meant to do — a lesson unto itself. We can either learn from example or not, but the way we treat animals is certainly indicative of the way we regard and relate to each other.
Click here to watch David at the Idaho Black Bear Rehab Center. (Note that it’s a 4-part video.)
When asked why he took the risk of being in a cage with eight Bengal tigers on Circus of the Stars: The reason that I’ve done this is that I’ve had a fascination with one of the finest animal trainers in the world, Gunther Gebel Williams, and he’s really been a hero of mine. I thought that this would be an opportunity for me to put myself in his shoes — or boots as the case is. It’s been an exciting time. During the past 6 or 7 weeks, I’ve had a rare and wonderful opportunity to engage some tigers. You have to build a relationship with them. They have a whole different rhythm and a whole different way of appreciating who you are as much as you appreciate who they are. And I think it’s really an exercise in building mutual respect. I don’t feel real comfortable with them, but that’s okay. The cats learn the routines in Polish, so [when giving them commands] it’s kind of a mix of Polish, Italian and Fright, you know, that language from the Nation of Fear? I’m beginning to feel what it’s like to be with animals when they’re just a little bit out of your control. These are trained animals; they’re not tame animals. And I think one of the exciting things is to face the unknown as long as I’m prepared and I’ve got a healthy respect for these cats. Click here to see David’s performance with the tigers.