All around the world, people’s eyes are being opened up to the devastating reality of animal cruelty.
In days gone by, circuses were a popular form of entertainment, but they have decreased in popularity as people have become increasingly aware of the cruelty which is used to keep circus animals in check. In fact, many countries have banned them altogether. Now, shocking footage of a lion and a tiger attacking a horse in a circus stunt gone wrong has emerged. The incident, which took place in Cangzhou City, in China’s northern Hebei Province during a rehearsal, involved trainers attempting to coax a lion and a tiger onto a horse’s back. It had been fitted with a small platform instead of a saddle. Instead of cooperating as expected, the shocking footage opens with the lion viciously attacking the horse. While this happens, the lion is hit repeatedly with a whip as the circus trainers try to save the stricken horse. “The animals didn’t cooperate too well,” a spokesman said. “The horse kicked the lion, which began biting it in return.” The situation went from bad to worse when the tiger decided to join in on the frenzied attack, knawing on the horse’s legs. After a repeated whipping, the lion and the tiger were eventually drawn away from the horse, which, amazingly, was left with only minor injuries. However, the most shocking part of this incident was that the circus spokesman said that it was “normal”. The show subsequently went ahead as planned, and there was no investigation into the animals’ welfare. “Lions and tigers are wild animals,” the spokesman added. “They are different from horses. You can see from documentaries that they eat cows. This is absolutely normal.” Despite the animals’ aggression being apparent, the circus’ spokesman said that they posed no danger to staff because they have worked with them from an early age.
Keith Guo, PETA Asia press officer for China said that “it’s only a matter of time before captive animals lash out at their oppressor.”
“Big cats in the circus suffer mentally and physically every single day. When they are not performing, they are confined in cramped, filthy cages and whips and beatings are used to force them to perform.”
The footage was uploaded to Weibo, a Chinese social media site, and it prompted users to call on the government to tackle animal cruelty problems. “Shut down the circus! This is too cruel to both wildlife and domestic animals!” wrote Joyemiao. Check out the shocking footage below:
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