The Law: The Cop and the Lion

When eleven-year-old Elizabeth Lee reached into a lion cage at an Anchorage amusement park, a 300-lb. lioness named Cleo seized her arm in its teeth. Alaska State Trooper Frank Johnson raced to the rescue, pulled out his pistol and shot the lion in the head. As the lion fell dead, both Johnson and the girl went sprawling; Johnson's gun accidentally went off again, and the girl was wounded in the thigh.

Elizabeth eventually recovered, but she filed a $65,000 damage suit against the trooper, the amusement park and the state of Alaska. The jury decided that the amusement park should pay her...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!