LYONS: Tiger trainer no fan of this unflattering spotlight
By Tom Lyons
December 15, 2012
The call to circus animal trainer Lancelot Ramos caught him at what I would think was a time to totally ignore his cell phone.
But he answered, and we talked for several minutes about an animal rights group's suspicions about what happened days before during a Sarasota circus performance at Showfolks.
Only then did Ramos say he wanted my fax number but couldn't write it down because, well, he was in an enclosure working with several tigers, training for a performance.
"Can you text me the fax number?" he asked.
Sure thing, Lance. And take your time. I'll call back.
Ramos, also known as Lancelot Kollmann, loves the spotlight but not the one he is getting into again now. A member of a long-time circus family, Ramos has had lots of trouble with federal animal welfare investigators.
Some of the problems stem from incidents there at his compound near Wimauma, about half an hour north of Sarasota County. His license to do animal shows was revoked in 2009 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, after the USDA blamed Ramos for the death of some big cats, and for neglecting an emaciated elephant named Ned.