Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1810, Sunday, December 5, 1830
Between 11 and 12 o'clock on Friday morning, as the man whose duty it is to clean the cages of the wild beasts at the Tower was in the execution of that office, he inadvertently raised a door in the upper tier of cells, which separated the den of a huge lion from one in which there were a Bengal Royal tiger and tigress. At sight of each other the eyes of the animals sparkled with rage. The lion instantly erected his mane, and, with a tremendous roar, sprang at the tiger. The tiger was equally eager for the combat, and, in a paroxysm of fury, flew at his assailant, whilst the tigress fiercely seconded her mate. The roaring and yelling of the combatants resounded through the yards, and excited in all the various animals the most lively demonstrations of fear or rage. The timid tribes shivered with dread, and ran round their cages shrieking with terror, whilst the other lions and tigers with the bears, leopards, panthers, wolves, and hyenas, flew around their dens, shaking the bars with their utmost strength, and uttering the most terrific cries. The lion fought most bravely, but was evidently over-matched, having to contend with two adversaries not more than a year from the woods, whilst he had been upwards of seven years in confinement. Still the battle raged with doubtful success, until the tiger seized the lion by the throat, and flung him on the back, when, after rolling over each other several times, the exasperated tigress pinned her enemy against the veranda. In that situation the prostrate lord of the forest still straggled with indomitable spirit, roaring with agony and rage. By this time, however, some iron rods had been heated, the red-hot ends of which were now applied to the mouths and nostrils of the infuriated tigers, who were by this means forced to relinquish their grasp; but no sooner was the separation effected than the lion and the tiger seized in their mouths—the one the upper, the other the lower jaw of his antagonist, biting and tugging at each other with deadly fury. So excited was their animosity that it was with the greatest difficulty, by the insertion into their nostrils of the growing iron, they could be disengaged, and the lion driven back to his cell, the door of which was instantly closed upon him. The tiger in the last onset lost one of his tusks, but the poor lion was very severely punished. The battle lasted full half an hour.