Harold F. Keith, 24, farmer, rescued Leslie E. Mathers, Sr., 58, farmer, from an attack by a tiger, Mason City, Illinois, November 22, 1948. A fully-grown tiger weighing 400 pounds escaped from its pen at a private zoo and attacked Mathers, seizing his leg in its jaws and pulling him to the ground. The tiger, which had not been fed for nine hours, dragged Mathers 25 feet to near a fence. A brother of Mathers who operated the zoo thrust an iron bar into the mouth of the tiger and pried loose its hold. Mathers attempted to roll free, but the tiger pinned him to the ground with its powerful front paws and began biting his other leg. Keith carrying a heavy automobile drive-shaft four feet long ran 30 feet to Mathers and for two minutes stood close to the tiger, repeatedly striking its head with the shaft as the brother of Mathers also struck the tiger, which released Mathers. Ropes were brought to them , and the partly-reviving tiger was drawn into its pen. Mathers sustained deep lacerations of both legs but recovered.
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