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Nine-Year-Old Lion Tamer Braves Pack of Ten in Back-Yard Cage

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Silent | ca 1930s

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  •  Manuel King enters the lions’ den 
  •  The cubs perform tricks 
  •  Trixie joins in on the taming practices 
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This Universal Newsreel footage features 9-year-old Manuel King, son of the famed "Snake King of Brownsville" and touted as the World's Youngest Wild Animal Trainer. Manuel began working with lions when he was only 7, after befriending an orphaned lion cub the family raised. Manuel toured the U.S. and Mexico with his act and also played the role of Baru, Son of the Jungle in the film Darkest Africa (1936). Keep an eye out for the family's sheep dog, Trixie, who was also a part of the act and had a hand in raising the 10 lions.