BARABOO, WI—Traveling circus performer Scott Mueller, who said he has dreamed of becoming a lion tamer since childhood, was dismayed Monday to discover that the most death-defying part of his new job is not putting his head into the mouths of ferocious animals, but the abundance of paperwork his profession requires.

"When you're a kid, you just assume it's all whips and chairs and keeping roaring jungle predators at bay," Mueller said. "But it's far less thrilling than it sounds. Do you have any idea how many forms are involved in transporting a federally controlled predator across state lines via train? And every county has a completely different set of health codes and what have you. Hell, just processing the immunization records alone takes me like six hours."

Mueller added that he sometimes wonders why he left the insurance business in the first place.