Pittsburg, PA Lion Mauls Patron At Park, Aug 1907



Pittsburg, Pa., Aug. 28 -- Torn, bruised and suffering from shock, MRS. ANNA H. HOUCK, 55 years old, lies at her home in the precarious condition as the result of an experience with a lion at Luna Park, a summer resort in this city.
The attack occurred yesterday afternoon when the park was crowded with women and children. Without warning the lion appeared from behind one of the buildings and with a roar crouched and sprang for MRS. HOUCK, who was nearest to him. The woman screamed and attracted the attention of the crowd.
W. A. Downing, chief of the park police, came running to the rescue and found the lion tearing away at the woman's clothing. He immediately fired all the chambers of his pistol into the beast.
Still standing over the prostrate woman the lion stood with the ground around him literally plowed up by the hundreds of shots which were fired at him from rifles at the shooting galleries nearby. The animal soon succumbed. MRS. HOUCK was rushed to the hospital, where her injuries were dressed.
For nearly a quarter of an hour the lion, a huge male beast, pawed at the unconscious woman, picked her up in his jaws and dropped her down, the crowd, paralyzed with fear, unable to assist the unfortunate woman while policemen with drawn guns did not shoot because of fear of killing the woman.
Finally George S. Sheridan climbed to the roof of the band stand, which was deserted when the animal escaped from its cage, because of a careless trainer failing to lock the door. Sheriden, who is a crack shot, took careful aim, fired and the brute roared, which proved it was hit.
Again Officer Sheridan fired, agai hitting the animal. Then reloading his gun, he jumped from the stand and advanced upon the beast. Just about this time MRS. HOUCK moved and the crowd yelled in terror.
The animal turned for a second and Sheridan snatched the woman, placed her on one arm and started to back away before the beast missed its prey.
With a roar the lion discovered his prey missing and sprang for the officer, who retained his nerve, fired, and a bullet planted itself in the head of the lion, which did not stop.
Again the officer fired, the crowd still keeping its distance, no one being brave enough to rush and relieve the officer of his burden.
The third shot brought the beast to its knees and caused it to roll over, and then enough alleged heroes, knowing the animal was dead, appeared on the cene and made a sieve out of the body.
MRS. HOUCK was one of the daughters of the American revolution who were holding a picnic in the park today. It is said she could have escaped the beast as she saw him coming, but she remained in its path and pushed little children to one side. The animal immediately attacked her and the nerve of Officer Sheridan saved her from being torn to pieces.

Ogden Standard Utah 1907-08-28

History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania 1889 Read it online

Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania : personal and genealogical, with portraits Read it online

History of Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania 1886 Read it online

Allegheny County : a sesqui-centennial review 1938 Read it online

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