Los Angeles' County Times May 16, 1997 Sunday edition online archive #67943

by Sam Falcon

Melissa strikes a sexy pose  In a real life story of beauty and the beast Kazor the lion's bid for  freedom came to an abrupt end today. Kazor the worlds largest lion escaped early this morning when the truck that was transporting him back to his habitat was hit by a car and overturned.  The freed lion darted into oncoming traffic and was struck by a vehicle before charging straight into a nearby park, were dozens of children were playing. Completely wild and weighing in at over 700 pounds the beast could have literally ripped scores of children to shreds and disappeared into the trees before authorities could have arrived. Luckily though someone came to their rescue. What man would be brave enough to face such a beast, you ask? The answer is no man, but a woman. That's right a woman came to the rescue but not just any woman. Famous Canadian fitness model and body builder Melissa Coates was in the park doing a photo shoot . She heard the terrifying screams of the children and rushed to their aid. " I had no idea what was wrong." Melissa said after the ordeal was over. " I just heard screams. I was terrified when  I saw that monster cat but all the other adults were running the other way. I knew I had to do something." Witnesses say that Melissa  actually tackled the beast as it was about to pounce on a child..

" She was amazing!" Said wheel chair bound Ron Jameison, who snapped the photo on the left. (After making sure the beast was no longer a threat Melissa struck the sexy pose for the stunned Jameison) Jameison happened to be in the Park that morning soaking up the sun and trying out his new camera "She tackled the huge cat like she was a linebacker in the NFL. The cat never knew what hit him." Jameison recalled.

"I didn't have time to think about it The lion was standing less than a two feet away from a child who had fallen." I just jumped on its back."Melissa said. "I was really very lucky. The lion was completely unable to use his right foreleg so he couldn't swipe at me without losing his balance.I was able to get my legs wrapped about his neck before it even knew what was happening.

" I couldn't believe what I was seeing" Jameison said. " She was actually riding it!"  When she first jumped on the beasts back it went crazy rearing up on it's hind legs and thrashing around. It did its best to try and toss her off but with a broken front leg it couldn't. She had her legs locked firmly around its neck and her hands were gripping its mane. Then I noticed the beast becoming sluggish, at first I had thought it had just grown tired but then I realized that it was Melissa, she was squeezing the cat around the neck with her incredible legs. When the cat grew weaker she locked her hands beneath the beast's chin and began pulling back on its head.

" My legs are pretty strong and I was lucky enough to have them positioned in just the right place to cut off the cats oxygen. I could feel  the animal growing weaker and when I felt it safe I locked my hands beneath its jaw and pulled back on its head, until finally the animal lost consciousness. I felt its muscles relax and I knew if I pulled back just a bit farther the beasts neck would snap." Melissa said.

" I had never seen anything like that in my entire life!" Jameison declared. " She was actually squeezing the life out of the beast. The animal was so huge that her feet never even touched the ground. I never knew a woman could be so powerful. Every muscle in her and the lions body was standing out as they fought to see who was stronger and then just like that the beast collapsed in a heap at her feet. She had actually done it! She looked like a goddess standing over the conquered cat.  I couldn't help but ask if I could take her picture. She looked right at me and smiled, then she tossed her  hair over her shoulder and placed her foot on the beast's head while flexing her incredible biceps. I nearly passed out, it was an incredible sexy sight.  If the photo's blurry its because my hands were shaking.   She then grabbed two of the children's large jump ropes and proceeded to hog tie the beast. That's when I realized that the animal was still alive."

When asked why she didn't kill the beast Melissa replied-"I love animals. It (referring to the lion) made the most pathetic sound as it lost consciousness, like it was in a great deal of pain. I just didn't have the heart to kill it.  At that point it was certainly  no longer a threat to anyone , so when I saw the ropes I figured what the hell, so I tied it up.

Ron Jameison recounted. "The way she handled those ropes would of  made a sailor blush. She tied it's paws together being careful to leave the broken leg free, then she looped the rope around his snout muzzling the beast. When she got through with him he was wrapped up tighter than a drum. What an amazing woman!

Kazor had been recuperating at a local veterinary facility after suffering gunshot wounds inflicted by a gun toting vandal at the Zoo. He was being transported back to his habitat when the accident occurred. The driver of the car was ticketed for failure to yeild.

Melissa said of the entire ordeal- "All and all it was a fairly happy ending, I'm just glad no one was hurt. Poor Kazor has got to go back to the hospital but I'm told that his leg will be fine in a month or so. I plan on visiting him, maybe even bring him a steak or two, just to cheer him up.

To quote Ron Jameison " What an amazing woman"