A packed circus event in Russia nearly led to a catastrophic and deadly scene.
A traveling circus called the Harlequin Traveling Circus set up shop in a Russian town. A circus staff member stepped onto the red felt stage alongside her bear.
The bear appears in a hat and a glittery scarf on the stage alongside several circus staff members. Suddenly, the bear lunges at the woman’s leg and latches on for dear life. Others struggle to detach the bear and it takes nearly half a minute to remove the bear from on top of the woman.
According to the Siberian Times, a spokesperson said that the circus “prides itself on the humane training of animals.” However, the get-up the bear is forced into and the subsequent attack may suggest something else entirely.
Apparently, the show did not end after this gruesome and terrifying act. There was even another mauling not captured on camera.
However, it all brings up some valuable learning lessons and further questions regarding animal abuse.
More on the Bear Circus Incident
The circus had gotten a full crowd that night. There was no kind of barrier separating the people in the crowds from the circus members performing. The crowd screams intensely.
At the end of the night, the woman did not seek medical attention for her injuries. She doesn’t appear to be the only one ignoring the attack.
According to the New York Post, a spokesperson actually denied that anything happened, despite a lot of eyewitnesses and camera footage depicting a mauling incident. The person was quoted saying, “There was no incident whatsoever.” The attack was blamed on the fact that the bears were in heat, or in the midst of the mating season.
The Post also shared the story on Instagram. People in the comments are urging for changes in the circus industry. One person wrote, “Ban the circus-it’s cruelty to animals!” while another said “Bear should not be in a circus. I can’t believe this is still being allowed.”
According to CNN, circuses are at the forefront of discussions on animal exploitation and abuse. Wild or exotic animals are prohibited from circus use in New Jersey. Meanwhile, Illinois and New York have banned any acts with elephants.
America’s Circus Animals
In 2017, what was once dubbed the “Greatest Show on Earth” has shut off its lights and retired forever.
For 146 years, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus had dominated the world of circus entertainment. The end of their reign, however, has many people thinking that other traveling circuses will soon sell those caravans and move on from circus entertainment.
According to National Geographic, there was a bill at one point that was going to ban the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses. It was called the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act. The bill would force circuses to use only human entertainers or shut down completely. It would set free all circus animals in the process. The bill did not pass, however.
Big cats, bears, camels, and elephants, monkeys, and other animals still remain a part of an entertainment act that keeps them from the wild.