- The bear attacked the trainer after he allegedly stopped the animal from eating treats
- The trainer was not severely injured in the incident as the animal had its teeth
- Local authorities were investigating the incident and the circus has been temporarily shut down
An animal trainer was viciously attacked by a black bear during a circus show in Henan province of central China on Friday.
The 440-pound Asian black bear attacked the unidentified man after he allegedly stopped the animal from eating treats.
“A boy threw a sausage [onto the stage]. The bear wanted to eat it, and the tamer wouldn’t allow it because it’s performing,” a witness told Pear News, adding that the bear attacked the trainer after he beat the animal.
Video of the incident showed the bear pinning the trainer to the ground and attacking and biting the man in front of screaming audience. His colleagues rush to his rescue and begin hitting the animal with sticks after which it lets go of the man. The trainer was not severely injured in the incident as the animal had its teeth sawed off as a cub.
Local authorities were investigating the incident and the circus has been temporarily shut down.
Meanwhile, the video of the incident has since gone viral on social media, causing outrage.
“These are living, breathing animals, not props and in such stressful conditions, they can all too easily become a public safety issue too. When disturbing scenes such as this are witnessed in China, they are very often met with outpourings of protest by netizens via the country’s social media, because calls for better animal welfare in China are growing,” Wendy Higgins, director of international media at Humane Society International, told Daily Mail.
The incident comes a year after a lion attacked a circus trainer in front of horrified audience in Ukraine. During the performance, one of the three lions in the ring pinned trainer Hamada Kouta to the ground and attacked him before going back into the cage. Video of the incident showed the animal running toward the man and attacking him. The trainer fights back following which the lion goes back to its cage.