A man who sprang into action to save his fiancée from what could have been a deadly tiger attack in Florida has opened up about the daring rescue as schoolchildren watched in horror.
David Donnert, who is engaged to trainer Vincenta Pages, said the Bengal tiger — named Gandhi — “had her down with the two front paws with the claws."
On Tuesday afternoon, school children watched as Pages slipped and fell while performing with Gandhi inside a cage at the Pensacola Interstate Fair. The tiger grabbed her by the legs as soon as she hit the ground.
In video of the horrific event, Pages can be heard screaming for Donnert, who runs inside the cage and strikes the tiger repeatedly with a whip to get him to release his grip.
Pages was dragged through the cage in front of the shocked children, but eventually, the tiger let Pages go.
“He grabbed her with the claws and tigers are possessive animals and want to keep what they have,” Donnert said.
Chaperones who were with the children urged them to look away. A publicist for the fair called the situation an “accident.”
Gandhi the tiger wasn't hurt and Pages suffered only minor scratches on her legs. Another white tiger was also inside the cage and did not interfere with Gandhi’s actions.
The fair canceled its tiger show for the remainder of its fall run, which was scheduled to go through Sunday.