Big cats grace the Hancock County Fairgrounds

The tigers sit on their designated perches ready for instruction from their owner, Vincent von Duke.

Curran McLaughlin | The Leader

            Many animals can be seen at the Hancock County fair.

            For the first time this year, lions and tigers were on display for the folks who visited the fair.

            “Close Encounters of the Exotic Kind” is a traveling show that features big cats to help educate people about the animals.

            The show which ran week-long a few times each day featured three tigers, including a white Bengal, and a male lion.

            The tigers were led around obstacles by owner Vincent von Duke with bits of food.

            They hopped over fences and through a flaming hoop, although the lion named Moe had to be drug around by his owner before being convinced to do so.

            After the show, people could donate money to feed other lions through the fence via a pole.

            Vincent von Duke and his assistant Pom Pom travel throughout the country from their home in Florida.

            For Vincent, his family has been in the business of tiger showing for seven generations rooted in Germany.

Read the complete story in the Aug. 1 Leader.