Thomas Chipperfield with Rab McComb at the lion and tiger enclosure at Dunaghy.INBM29-13 117L
REMEMBER Chipperfields circus? It might come as something of a surprise to note that this particular Big Top hasn’t been around in Northern Ireland for more than 20 years.
However, the Times can exclusively reveal that the name Chipperfield is still very much to the fore and in the most unexpected place you would imagine – Dunaghy.
It’s there on the premises of McComb Steel that the sight and sound of the circus is enjoyed by young and old from local and further afield, particularly at 4 p.m. in the afternoon during feeding time.
That’s when 23-year-old Thomas Chipperfield ventures into the Lion’s den to satisfy the hunger of two 250 kilo lions and four Siberian type Tigers .
Forking out huge amounts of food, it’s a sight that leaves many with hands over their mouths but for Thomas it’s all part of a daily routine which he carries out totally on his own.
Last Tuesday, the animals enjoyed pork offal and downed copious amounts while onlookers took pictures of feeding time.
The animals are safely and securely locked up with no hint of risk to the public and every precaution is taken to keep it that way.
The animals, two of which were donated by local man Sammy Graham who is a licensed animal keeper, are soon to join a new circus in England.
They have been trained to perform and for the past few years have been appearing up and down the country entertaining young and old.