Not to throw cold water on such a bizarre story, but (from Snopes.com):
A similar claim about the original MGM lion’s having “killed its trainer and two assistants” the day after he was filmed for the first MGM logo was promulgated by Factropolis.com, one of a number of sites whose raison d’être was passing off fictional factoids as real information. This claim is clearly not true, as the trainer of Slats, the lion first used by Goldwyn Pictures in 1917 (and subsequently by MGM) was Volney Phifer, a prominent animal trainer who long outlived Slats and passed away in retirement in the 1970s:
Simply put, none of the several lions filmed by MGM for use in their logos was involved in incidents that killed their trainers. All of those animals were handled by professional trainers who were well known in show business circles and whose deaths in any lion-mauling attacks would have been prominent news.
Up North, eh?
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