VIDEO HAS EMERGED of the moment that a pride of circus lions attacked a liontamer at a Ukranian circus – prompting a crowd frenzy and a mass stampede as onlookers rushed to leave.
The video, made by an American family visiting Lviv in western Ukraine where the accident occured, shows how an angry lion disregards the metal rod of Oleksie Pinko and lunges forward to bite him in the arms and leg.
It appears from the video that Pinko had already wounded by an attack; he is visibly limping from one attack, has bloody patches on his clothes, and the circus ring has obviously been soaked as circus staff hosed the lions to ward them off an earlier attack.
The previous attack obviously perturbed the audience; voices in the video ask whether the tourist family should leave, fearing that the lions could get out of control again – and possibly attack the public.
The woman overheard in the video, Masha Shepherd, told CBS News she “was just grabbing my daughter and trying to run because I thought they were going to get out.”
Other trainers are seen trying to scare off the animals with water cannons, but the the continue attacking until the trainers escape the ring.
Stunningly, despite sustaining massive bites to all limbs, Pinko escaped without any life-threatening injuries though he required emergency surgery.