A crowd in Russia watched in horror as a circus performer was mauled by a bear on stage.
The incident happened in Berezovsky just days ago when the Harlequin Travelling Circus was performing.
In a video shared to Twitter by The Siberian Times, a woman is seen facing a brown bear wearing a pink scarf and a hat as she walks backwards in a circle around the stage.
Suddenly, the bear launches at the woman, eventually grabbing on to her leg, while two other performers try to pull the bear off her.
Eventually the woman is freed from the bear's grasp, but it attacked her again in another incident when she was carrying a hoop across the stage.
In the second incident, the bear launched at her, though this time, it was intercepted by another performer on stage.
According to Mash Siberia on Instagram, there was another bear attack during that same performance and the spokesperson for the circus denied the incident.
"There was no incident whatsoever. Simply speaking, bears are now in mating season," the spokesperson told Mash Siberia, according to Times Now News.
The footage renewed calls for banning animals to be used in such performances.
"Ban the f***ing circus and f***ing people," one person said on Twitter, sharing the video.
"In the town of Berezovsky, Kemerovo Region, a circus bear rebelled against inhumane treatment and tried to devour its tormentor. Unfortunately unsuccessful."
"Leave the animals alone, they also feel, they have feelings, it is a living being, they also feel pain!!! He just fought back! I hope they don't kill him for what happened," another person tweeted.
According to a 2020 article from the Moscow Times, animals rights activists in Russia have been pushing for the government to ban animals in circus performances.
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