Listen to episode 163 of The Adelaide Show podcast, which was published October 5, 2016, to find out which story is fake. This week’s pieces covers the circus in South Australia.

A Circus Tragegy

The Advertiser June 1898

The jury at the coroner’s inquest on John Isaacs, who succumbed to the attack of a tiger during a circus performance at Gawler, accepted the medical evidence as to the cause of death, and the verdict went no further. If, however, the other evidence is to be believed and there is no reason to distrust it the unfortunate fellow contributed to die fatal result by his own recklessness. In performances with wild beasts, as in others that may be less sensational in appearance, there is
always a certain element of danger. The feline temper is uncertain, and even a well-fed and fairly tame tiger needs to be treated with suspicion by its trainer when he enters the cage. It can never be trusted to have completely lost its savage instincts. Nevertheless, if proper precautions are taken, the spectators may be duly thrilled without the performer undertaking any very serious risk. In the case under notice Isaacs, it appears, gave orders that the “fire-gate”; was not to be lit. He had done the same thing on two previous occasions, and came off scot-free; but this time neglect of (he usual precautions had disastrous consequences. Isaacs went into the cage insufficiently armed, and apparently it was during a moment of inattention, when his back was partly turned, that the animal sprang and seized him. The tiger inflicted three terrible wounds in the neck, one of which penetrated to the spine.

Police search for missing Panther

Mt Gambier Spectator June 1943

Police officers in the Tantanoola and German Flat districts are looking for a panther which escaped from circus at Mt Gambier several days ago. The circus has been laid up for the duration of the war, and the panther  escaped from the cage where it had been kept. A woman at Pine street, Tantanoola, reported to the police that the panther had paid a visit to her garden yesterday, and had been seen near the chicken coops, but it had gone when the police arrived. It was reported today to have visited a skin store in the district, and also 'to have been seen near a local timber mill. It is still at large

Unrehearsed Incident

South Eastern Times May 1918

A laughable incident—for all but one person—occurred at the circus a short time ago. The comic policeman had just come off victorious with a bout with the clown, and both had retired from the ring for a moment. A real policeman, on duty at the circus, took a short-cut across the arena to quell a disturbance and the clown entering with a pair of imps, took him for the sham man of law, and he and his imps fell upon the policeman, blinded him with flour, smothered, him with soot, dragged him across the floor, and hustled him out of the ring.. When the circus policeman, who had been a delightful spectator of the mistake, rang into the ring, the faces of the clown and the imps were a study. The audience who had known the mistake all along simply roared with laughter.