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WARNING: CONTAINS FOOTAGE SOME READERS MAY FIND DISTRESSING
The incident was filmed by an audience member at the circus in Qinghetou, which is located in the county of Puyang in the eastern Chinese province of Henan, on 2 October.
In the footage, you can see the bear suddenly knock the trainer to the floor midway through the performance, before it starts biting his clothes.
Placing all of its 200kg (31.5st) weight on top of the trainer, the bear refused to let him go as other people began to batter its huge body with poles in an attempt to get it off.
The trainer and the bear have been performing together for several years, with this being the first incident of this kind.
Li Jun, the animal's owner, said: "The reason it happened is because someone in the audience threw a piece of ham on the stage.
"I picked up the ham and did not give it to the bear so it was angry and unwilling to perform.
"People should not throw food on the stage during a circus performance."
Li added: "Our performance animals have no teeth. We are afraid of accidents so we have been filing down their teeth since they were young."
Local authorities confirmed no one in the audience was injured during the incident, and that the circus has since been suspended.
The bear's trainer was treated for his minor injuries and vaccinated from possible infection.
The black bear, meanwhile, was sent back to Wuxi City.
Another bear who had been forced to perform in a circus thankfully found a better fate recently after it was moved to a sanctuary in Satanov, Ukraine, for 'rehabilitation and life support'.
Toshka spent 25 years working at the circus performing tricks, but has now found a comfortable new home where he likes to sit down in the sun 'for hours'.
In a clip, the bear can be seen sat on the grass in the sunshine while water is sprayed onto him, scratching his leg and licking at the water as it falls on him to cool himself down.
A member of staff who looks after Toshka said having a shower in the sun was his 'favourite pastime', which I reckon you can probably tell from the adorable clip.
They said: "A month ago, we transported him and three other bears. Toshka was very afraid of people: he didn't leave the bushes for two weeks.
"Care and attention melted his heart. Now his favourite pastime is to shower in the sun. He takes a sitting position and is ready to sit for hours."
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