The girl was later hospitalised for treatment of her injuries. (Screen grab/Youtube/Иннокентий Гаркаликов)
A circus lion pounced on a four-year-old girl, slashing her face with its paw, during a show in southern Russia on Sunday. The video of the incident shows the lion, held on a leash by the tamer, suddenly pounce on the girl who was standing near the safety net and waving a flag.
The girl was later hospitalised for treatment of her injuries. She was taken to a children’s hospital in the regional capital of Krasnodar with lacerations to her face and other injuries, reported AFP. A local official told RIA Novosti news agency that the lion did not bite the girl but lashed her with its paw.
Lion tamer and director of the Moscow Big Circus, Eduard Zapashny, criticised “criminal negligence” by the detained circus director and the “extremely unprofessional” tamer, in comments to National News Service radio station, the news agency reported.
Attacks like this are common in Russia where wild animals are used in circuses without proper regulation. During a circus show in Siberia in 2016, a leopard broke free and bit a woman. In 2012, a cheetah mauled a seven-year-old boy in the face and neck in the Moscow region. The same year, a tiger at a travelling zoo clawed a three-year-old boy in the head in far eastern Russia.
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