A Russian circus performance ended in chaos when a lioness attacked the tamer during a show over the weekend – luckily he survived.
A pair of lionesses can be seen rolling around and playing in the performance area moments before the tamer walks on and is almost instantaneously attacked by a lioness. The onlookers can be heard in the background gasping in horror before being prompted to leave.
The trainer, Maxim Orlov, managed to get free for a few moments while he attempted to tame the beast, but the lioness named Vega managed to get hold of him a second time, and this time she held on. While the second lion also seemed to have attacked him. Orlov, survived the attack but suffered injuries to his legs and arms.
The crowd, which included many children can be seen bolting from the venue and screaming.
“The lionesses went berserk. When we ran away, there was a wild roar from the animals,” one witness said, the DailyStar reported.
Scenes were so traumatic, according to the DailyMail, a pregnant woman who was in the audience suffered an epileptic seizure out of shock.
Orlov has since come out in defense of the animal, saying the attack was due to the circus not working during the pandemic.
“Vega is five years old and has been wayward since childhood. We will negotiate with the zoos to exchange her for a little lion cub,” he said according to the DailyMail. “Cases such as today are very rare, but animals are animals.”
Holding animals in captivity as circus performers is an age-old tradition that many countries have banned in recent years, however, the tradition still holds strong in Russia who is known to house some of the best circuses in the world.
– Naadiya Adams