Demetri in a good lion of busi­ness

The Daily Examiner - - NEWS -

A FOR­MER Ma­clean High stu­dent who has been work­ing with lions and bears in the US for more than 10 years is back home for a short time.

Demetri Price is the head trainer for An­i­mals of Mon­tana in North­ern Mon­tana where he trains apex preda­tors and works with big cats, wolves, griz­zly bears, black bears and other an­i­mals.

An­i­mals of Mon­tana sup­ply the an­i­mals in an eth­i­cal man­ner for film, tele­vi­sion and pho­tog­ra­phy.

Mr Price de­scribes get­ting into train­ing apex preda­tors as be­ing sucked in by the rab­bit hole ef­fect.

“It basically ended up be­ing ev­ery­thing I wanted and more,” he said.

He said en­rich­ing the an­i­mals’ lives is at the fore­front of what is most im­por­tant for him.

“What we do is a very in­ter­est­ing thing, on the sur­face it does help the an­i­mals in the long run,” he said.

Mr Price said their busi­ness al­lows the an­i­mals to have a face in the mod­ern age in­cor­po­rated in me­dia in our cul­ture, movies and art.

“It gives them a pub­lic face,” he said.

“I be­lieve an­i­mals in the wild have it very tough. Keep­ing them in cap­tiv­ity and in an eth­i­cal fash­ion with that as a core part can give them a mean­ing­ful and happy life and pre­serve them for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” he said.

He said hu­mans on the planet have made it very dif­fi­cult for apex preda­tors to be the way na­ture in­tended and in­ad­ver­tently de­stroy their ex­is­tence.

“From hu­man in­ter­ac­tion we as a whole are in­vad­ing in ev­ery sys­tem they ex­ist in, es­pe­cially dis­plac­ing large preda­tors, who rely on large open spa­ces and prey to ex­ist the way they are meant to,” he said.

Mr Price said he has al­ways been an­i­mal-cen­tric, lead­ing him to where he is to­day.

“I was lured to­wards big cats and they in­trigued me in a par­tic­u­lar way, mak­ing me want to work with that species,” he said.

Last week he was in­vited as a guest speaker to the Palmers Is­land Pub­lic School award cer­e­mony where stu­dents were hon­oured for up­hold­ing school core val­ues.

He said he talked about the value of in­tegrity and iden­ti­fied it with some­thing that comes out from in­ner deal­ings with an­other per­son.

“I re­ally think Palmers Is­land is a di­a­mond in the rough, it is a school that re­ally up­holds the value of small town Aus­tralia, it’s not lost in the larger spheres of our cul­ture,” he said. ”They are go­ing to be pro­duc­ing some re­ally high qual­ity Aus­tralians.”

Photo: Palmers Is­land Pub­lic School

ROAR HON­OUR: Demetri Price with stu­dents at Palmers Is­land Pub­lic School for their In­tegrity awards cer­e­mony.

Photo: An­i­mals of Mon­tana

MANE EVENT: Demetri hard at play with one of the big cats at An­i­mals of Mon­tana.

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