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The Lady or the Tiger? A Terrifying Tangle in Toronto Happily Ends in a Draw

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Tiger, tiger, what a fright! Mercifully it was only a fright and not a bite that model Christa Daniel got from Taz, a 900-pound Siberian tiger, during a photo session in Toronto’s High Park. With nary a warning growl, Taz embraced Daniel and threw her to the ground. His trainer, Jim “Cougar” Dillman, intervened and the declawed but not toothless Taz was subdued after a two-minute tussle. “The attack came right out of left field,” says Daniel, 20. “I guess the tiger liked my bathing suit or cologne.”

A former Miss Nevada, the 5′ 10″ Daniel is currently the Miss English Leather Calendar Girl. Taz was called in to add a little fire and ice to a newspaper pinup calendar. Daniel insists that she will resume the photo session with the 2-year-old tiger because “I don’t wish to be afraid of anything in life.” Taz’s trainer certainly isn’t scared—he lets the Halloween-hued tabby sleep with him in his hotel room. “This looked like terror in the park,” Dillman says, “but Taz was just showing his affection for Christa. Although Taz eats 40 pounds of meat a day, he’s really a big baby. He just has good taste in women.” Fine, as long as that doesn’t change to women who taste good.