Lion bites trainer's throat and drags him across the stage at circus

Spectator video captures the horrifying moment the lion grabs his longtime trainer by the throat.


NSFW    DOULLENS, FRANCE — The fate of a 6-year-old circus lion in Northern France is up for debate, after he attacked his trainer during a live performance over the weekend.

The evening of May 6, roughly one hundred spectators packed into a tent to witness an unforgettable show at the Buffalo Circus. Around 5 p.m., the 30-year-old lion tamer was about to wrap up the show. After sending one of his two performing lions to a cage backstage, the trainer was suddenly attacked from behind by the other, as spectators could only look on in horror.

During the attack, the lion grabbed his master by the throat, and shook him around for at least ten seconds. Given how most circus animals spend their lives caged, whipped, poked and shocked, it’s no surprise this lion went after his keeper. After watching in shock for a few seconds, the circus staff blasted the big cat with a fire extinguisher, forcing him to release the trainer.

The trainer suffered wounds to his legs and back from the lion’s claws and fangs, and was taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital. As for the lion, local French media quoted a member of the circus as saying “He attacked. He showed that he dominated us. We can no longer work with him.”
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