An Egyptian circus performance turned deadly in front of a horrified audience when a lion lashed out at trainer Islam Shaheen.
Shaheen was rushed to a local hospital but died a few days later because his injuries were so severe.
The lion has been pulled from performing, but it’s unclear what will happen to him next.
We’ll never know what he was thinking. But we do know that life in a tawdry circus or traveling show—where big cats are forced to perform tricks as they flinch away from the crack of a whip—is no life at all.
Big cats used in circuses are often hauled around in barren cages so small that they can barely stand up and turn around. Instead of getting to exercise and play, they’re forced to eat, drink, sleep, and defecate all in the same cramped space.
It’s no wonder that so many lions and tigers lash out in fear and frustration after months or years of being confined to tiny cages under the constant threat of violence. Since 1990, in the U.S. alone, 128 captive cats and 24 humans have died and another 270 humans have been injured as a result of such incidents.
Animals Don’t Belong in the Circus
Many circuses continue to enslave and abuse animals for entertainment—but public sentiment is changing rapidly. Stand up for big cats and all animals by pledging to support only animal-free circuses that use talented, willing human performers.