Steeve Loberot, a Buffalo Circus performer, was attacked by a lion named Chirkane during a show in France on Sunday—and the horrifying moment was caught on video.
Attendees—including children—can be heard screaming from the stands as Chirkane appears to attack Loberot. According to the Daily Mail, the man sustained injuries to his head, neck, and legs. The circus later took to Facebook to let folks know that he’s getting better.
Although some have called for the lion to be killed, Buffalo Circus has rejected these demands, and according to the performer’s relatives, Chirkane “will stay at the circus and resume his performances when [Loberot] has recovered.”
Bottom Line: Animals Don’t Belong in Circuses
In circuses, big cats are often forced to live inside cramped cages. Their maternal bonds are broken, their basic social and physiological needs are denied, and they’re trained using punishment and food deprivation—although they can never actually be “tamed.”
Not only are circuses that use animals inherently inhumane, they also pose a serious threat to handler and audience safety, as demonstrated by this incident and others during which performers or members of the public have been injured or even killed.
Many circuses continue to enslave and abuse animals for entertainment—but public sentiment is changing rapidly. Stand up for big cats and all other animals by pledging to support only animal-free circuses that use talented, willing human performers.