'Depressed' circus bear attacks trainer in front of terrified audience
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Warning: Contains content some readers may find upsetting
A video of a 'depressed' bear has resurfaced on online recently, showing the horror moment for all who witnessed the scene at a Russian circus.
The unfortunate bear was recorded attacking a man in a Russian circus ring, resulting in children and parents fleeing the tent.
The footage started with the bear plodding along with a wheelbarrow in what looks like a normal circus trick.
Events quickly unfolded, however, as the trainer on stage was bitten and then tackled to the ground by the large mammal.
A second man then repeatedly kicks the bear in an attempt to get him off his friend and colleague.
When that failed, the man used what looked like an electronic prodding device as the screaming audience flocked to the exits.
Surprisingly, there was no sign of a protective barrier between the audience and the bear on-stage, so things could have got a whole lot worse for organisers.
The trainer floored by the bear was understood to have been injured from the attack but no further updates of his condition were provided to the media.
Organisers initially said the bear made the unprovoked attack as a result of being startled by flashing lights in the crowd.
However, the bear's trainer later said the attack was sparked by the depressed animal's joint pain.
After the incident, officials announced a criminal investigation had started and as a result, the bear's act would be axed from the show immediately.
Galina Gurieva, who filmed the now viral distressing footage, said: "My knees are still trembling. I was shocked there was no fence for the safety of spectators, given the size of the bear."
Despite this shocking event and growing campaigns to ban bears and other potentially dangerous animals in such events in Russia, nothing has been done as of yet and the country continues to grip onto its circus tradition.
Travelling circuses with live animal performances remain popular in Russia and there is no indication that is going to change anytime soon.
People have also campaigned on the other side of the argument that animals should not be allowed in circuses as it can be seen as animal cruelty.
According to researchers, lions naturally fear fire, but are often forced to jump through fire hoops at these kinds of circuses.
In some cases, this has resulted in animals, particularly lions, burning themselves and even being euthanized in extreme cases.