Lion leaps on Russian circus performer and 'sinks its teeth' into him

Horrifying moment lion leaps on to Russian circus performer and ‘sinks its teeth’ into him in front of terrified families before his wife rushes to save him

  • The lion ‘clawed and sank its teeth’ into circus performer Alexey Makarenko
  • His wife, who is also a trainer, ‘saved his life’ by chasing away the big cat
  • The incident happened in the 1,200 seat arena in the Black Sea resort of Sochi

A video shows the horrific moment a lion attacks a well-known circus performer in Russia.

The beast ‘clawed and sank its teeth’ into Alexey Makarenko, 42, during a performance in front of children and their parents.

His wife Olga Borisova, 43, also a trainer, ‘saved his life’ in chasing away the predator when it forced him to the floor of the circus ring in Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The drama began when two male lions started fighting during an act in the 1,200 seat arena.

A video shows the horrific moment a lion attacks a well-known circus performer in the circus ring in Black Sea resort Sochi

The drama began when two male lions started fighting during an act in the 1,200 seat arena, before turning on trainer Makarenko

Makarenko intervened to seek to stop the brawl, triggering a furious response from a third lion which attacked the trainer, knocking him to the ground

Alexey Makarenko, a professional trainer, was attacked by a lion during a performance at Sochi circus in Russia. He is pictured with wife and fellow trainer Olga Borisova and a lion in a previous performance

Makarenko intervened to seek to stop the brawl, triggering a furious response from a third lion which attacked the trainer, knocking him to the ground.

Borisova rushed to help, using a whip to scare the lion as the lights were switched off and staff went into emergency mode deploying water cannons and ‘noise grenades’ to deter the beasts.

Makarenko recovered to hurl a prop at the lion to scare it out of the ring at Sochi State Circus.

Amazingly, the pair then took a bow and embraced in front of the audience as if nothing had happened.

Many spectators thought the kerfuffle was part of the act, said one report.

In fact, Borisova has rescued him from possible death, said head of the Great Moscow State Circus, Edgard Zapashny.

A video shows the gash wounds to the experienced lion tamer, who is now recovering.

Makarenko recovered to hurl a prop at the lion to scare it out of the ring at Sochi State Circus. He is pictured in a previous performance

Alexey Makarenko, a professional trainer, is pictured with his wife Olga Borisova, who also trains lions with him at the circus

Warning: graphic content 


Alexey Makarenko, a professional trainer, shows his wounds after he was attacked by lion during a performance at Sochi circus in Russia

The lion ‘clawed and sank its teeth’ into Alexey Makarenko, leaving horrific wounds

‘As I tell my students…fighting lions are likely to unite and take part in the conflict,’ said Zapashny.

‘And today, confirming my words, a lion attacked my colleague Alexei Makarenko.

‘At the very moment when both tamers decided to extinguish the conflict in order to prevent injuries to the animals, a third lion in the arena decided to attack the person who intervened in the conflict.

‘We must pay tribute to Alexei’s wife, trainer Olga Borisova, who reacted in time and saved her husband’s life.

‘Now Alexei is receiving medical care, but …he will be back soon in the ring of the Sochi Circus with his handsome lions.’

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