The traveling circus Harlequin had promised “an unforgettable large-scale show with a great variety of animals” to “surprise all the cities of Russia”.
Instead, audience members were treated to the latest in a long line of wild animal circus acts that went horribly wrong “every month,” the Siberian Times reported.
“To put it simply, bears are now in mating season,” a spokesperson for the event told local media Mash Siberia of the calamity, which occurred in the Berezovsky region with the kind authorization from an entertainment company that would be “proud of humane animal training”.
The heart-wrenching 20-second clip begins with a brown bear following its trainer around a ring on its hind legs while wearing a hat and a sparkly scarf, one of the many outfits the circus has their bears wear on their performance.Things take a turn for the worse, however, when the bruin suddenly pounces on the woman and clings to her leg, causing her to fall to the ground in the sight of the dismayed audience. The trainer can be seen trying in vain to break free before the other performers manage to tear the rabid animal away.
The clip then switches to the bear making a second pass to his master before his male co-star breaks it. Local media reported that the show had not been stopped despite multiple attacks, including a third mutilation that was not filmed.
The coach apparently did not see a doctor after the ordeal, the Mirror reported.
Despite the video evidence, representatives from Harlequin Circus denied that an attack took place.
“There were no incidents,” insisted the spokesperson, who attributed the alleged attack to the bears being in heat.
The Russian investigative committee reportedly targeted the show for security breaches – indeed, the video appears to show that there was no barrier between the public and the animal artists.
Irina Novozhilova, from Russian animal rights group VITA, called for a moratorium on circuses with live animal shows, which remain popular across the country.
“No circus condition will be humane for one simple reason,” she said, “training goes hand in hand with cruelty. “
This is not the first time that a circus animal has turned against its trainer in Russia. Other incidents have it all figured out, from a lynx jumping on her trainer for pulling her out of a chair to a tired lion mutilating her whip-wielding tamer, which allegedly caused a fit in a pregnant bystander after being witness the horrible scene.