Circus Lions Attack Trainer

Two lions attacked their trainer during a circus performance in the Ukraine earlier this month.

An American family visiting the town of Lviv got footage of the attack. In the video, which was released on the internet, one lion attacks first, biting the trainer on his leg before a second lion joins in and bites him on the arm.

The trainer and other circus workers try to repel the lions, first with metal poles and eventually with water cannons. The workers were able to keep the lions at bay and the trainer escaped the enclosure. He made it to the hospital for emergency surgery and is in stable condition.

No word yet on the fate of the lions. It’s hard to say whether they have become more dangerous than they are valuable to the circus. Circuses treat animals like property, so there’s likely a cost/benefit analysis protocol for these kinds of situations.

In the video you can see and hear people in the crowd panicking and fleeing. Circus patrons are used to benefitting from violence and cruelty, but seem shocked and appalled when they must witness violence happen. They enjoy watching abused and frightened animals do tricks, but witnessing one of the natural conclusions of animal abuse traumatizes them.

The man who filmed the video said his son doesn’t want to go to the circus “ever again”. Hopefully the family sticks together in that decision, and hopefully when he grows up, the boy will be able to put the scary incident from his childhood into context.

It’s fair to assume that circuses around the globe are not necessarily all like the ones in the US, some might employ less violent tactics in training their animals while others very likely employ more. But some things are certain: zoo animals are confined, transported and routinely neglected. Animals must have their spirits broken through violence before they will perform unnatural tricks and stunts for human entertainment.

The violent outburst by those lions wasn’t an aberration, it was the natural reaction from two wild animals.

I don’t wish violence on anyone, but I also lack sympathy for a person whose job it is to abuse wild animals when the animals return the favor. The trainer makes the decision to accept the physical risk and gets paid to do it. The lions get nothing for their trouble but the privilege of growing old in a cage.

Every incidence of violence of a supposedly “tame” circus or zoo animal provides an opportunity for us to examine the ethical nature of using animals for our amusement. If only every other person who heard about or saw this incident had the same reaction as the cameraman’s son: “I don’t want to go to the circus ever again”.

Animals do not exist for our entertainment anymore than they exist for our consumption. Go vegan, boycott circuses, zoos, and all other industries that profit from animal exploitation.
Care2 TAKE ACTION: Tell Ringling Bros. to stop abusing elephants!

Photo: insane photoholic


Annie Haun
Annie H5 years ago

I took my daughters to the circus once and they were letting you see the animals before it started, which sent my youngest daughter into a screaming fit for the animals rights. Most of the animals had big sores on them which she couldn't understand why they were hurting the animals that was suppose to make you laugh. She was only five at the time and had nightmares about the animals being hurt for a very long time. I never took them again because just mentioning going would make her cry and tell me she never wanted to see the animals hurt again. Now that she all grown up, when the circus comes to town, she get super bad headaches until they leave, has been since about 7 years old. I really think that the circus in some way really effected her by what she saw, the big sores all over most of the animals. We never even saw the show that night as I couldn't get her calmed down until we left the place. They should free those loins because it is not natural to cage a wild animal like that, the loins are borned hunters. Abuse a wild animal that is a born hunter and somewhere along the way it will turn on you.

Isabelle J.
Isabelle J5 years ago

What a great place to bring a child ! There are a lot of dumb people on earth. Circus with animal's should not exist anymore and nobody should go there with chidren. How is it supposed to be fun watching animal's being abused ? This is so sad !

Terri S.
.5 years ago

Couldn't help but cheer for the lions.

mary l.
mary l6 years ago

Sorry but i don't feel sorry for the trainers. This is what happens when you pen a wild animal and they way they beat them. The lion must have woken up in a bad mood and got back at him.

Mandi T.
Mandi T6 years ago

When will humans learn!

Linda W.
Linda W.6 years ago

No question about it, all circus's should be banned. Animals are not or entertainment.

kenneth m.
kenneth m6 years ago

Free the lions. The trainers are not safe and should quit and never bother the lions again

mary l.
mary l6 years ago

I DO NOT support any circus they all need to be put out of business and end the suffering life that these animals have.

Corey Mondello
Corey Mondello6 years ago

I hope all children never want to go to a circus ever again...or rodeo for that matter.

Tara Broadway
Tara Broadway6 years ago

I went to my First Circus ever in my life a couple years ago it was a Ringling. They let you look at the animals before the show and they looked miserable. They are stuck in cages all day and travel around in trailers. Then during the show the zebras were not performing right and they would whip them and the tigers werent performing either and they yelled and whipped them to. I would NEVER take a kid to that horrible thing.