Looking for the author and name of a short story that is about a Roman caravan that is traveling to the Colosseum to sell animals for combat with gladiators.

They have all kinds of animals, including a tiger. Somewhere along the way, they've picked up an alien who has claws and seems wicked-smart - though doesn't talk.

Eventually, the alien escapes. The only thing that saves the protagonist is that the tiger HATES the alien and escapes himself and they fight it out to the death of both of them.


What you describe is without a doubt Killer by David Drake and Karl Edward Wagner (maybe it began life as a short story).

As you describe, an alien super-predator ends up on Earth full of feral cunning, razor claws and lightning reflexes. Putting it down becomes the responsibility of arena supplier and hunter, Lycon.

A full review can be found here.

The story has to do with the discovery of a bizarre "lizard-ape" by our hero, a Roman hunter named Lycon, who first sees the "sauropithecus" (or "phile," to give it its real name) in its cage as it is being herded into Rome to give the crowds at the Colloseum endless amusement tearing up Christians and sundry riffraff. No sooner does the first chapter end, than the beast breaks out of its cage (by picking the lock) and starts maiming everything in sight.

The cover I have in my library:

Killer front cover

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