Terrified audience watches as lion mauls trainer during circus performance

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A French circus trainer has rejected calls for a lion who attacked him to be euthanized.

During a performance Sunday afternoon in Doullens, France, a 485-pound male lion named Chirkane locked his jaws around trainer Steeve Loberot’s throat and dragged him around the pen.

Loberot, 34, was able to escape the lion after his wife sprayed a fire extinguisher into the pen and he scrambled to safety, but not before suffering serious injuries.

The incident was captured on video in which children can be heard screaming and onlookers can be seen hurrying away from the scene.

Buffalo Circus noted in a Facebook post that Loberot was recovering following a five-hour operation addressing injuries to his head, necks and legs. The circus also criticized those who are calling for Chirkane to be euthanized.

A source at the circus said, “It’s hard to understand why he attacked his tamer when they’ve been working together for years. Perhaps it was because of the heat season, the smell of the grass which a dog could have urinated on, or the changing weather.”

Despite the reason, the lion will no longer be performing in the circus.

“It will probably be placed in a zoo or elsewhere.”

The onlooker who captured the video and posted it to Facebook wrote, “It’s my girl who screams in the video, she cried all night.”

A representative for the circus said that Loberot had been working with lions for years, and has been left baffled by the attack having raised and trained Chirkane himself, and never encountered a problem.

Loberot’s relatives reportedly said, “The young lion is well treated, well fed and there is no question of euthanasia.”

Conflicting with the statement from the circus representative, the relatives claim that the lion will stay at the circus and resume his performances when Loberat has recovered.

H/T: Daily Mail

 

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