Having given up on the idea of putting Maximus in the arena with a rhinoceros, Ridley Scott and his crew opted for the slightly less dangerous scene in which Bengal tigers emerge from trapdoors in the floor and pounce on the unsuspecting combatants. It certainly added a great deal to the tension and excitement, as the huge beasts leaped up and took swipes at the fighters. A common misconception about the production of Gladiator is that in some of the shots the tigers were computer generated images - while this myth persists, the truth is that no CGI animals were used in these scenes. Instead, some of the closer calls were achieved through a combination of live action footage and green screens, while the tiger which jumps onto Maximus's back was actually a real tiger jumping onto the back of a handler who was holding a treat which he fed to the animal before shrugging it off. They say you should never work with animals and children in movies - another interesting aside is that the crew were instructed to keep any of their kids on set out of the sight of the tigers as their bite-sized offspring tended to get the animals excited at the prospect of a fresh snack.