Lion jumps up to Russian circus artist and ‘sinks his teeth’ into him

Horrifying moment when lion pounces on Russian circus performer and ‘puts his teeth into him’ in front of terrified families before his wife rushes to save him

  • The lion “clawed and set its teeth” in circus performer Alexey Makarenko
  • His wife, who is also a trainer, “saved his life” by chasing the big cat away
  • The incident took place at the 1,200-seat arena in the Black Sea resort of Sochi

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A video shows the gruesome moment when a lion attacks a well-known circus performer in Russia.

The beast “clawed and sank its teeth” into Alexey Makarenko, 42, during a performance for children and their parents.

His wife Olga Borisova, 43, also a trainer, “saved his life” by chasing the predator away when it forced him to the floor of the circus ring in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The drama started when two male lions started fighting during a performance in the 1,200-seat arena.

A video shows the gruesome moment a lion attacks a well-known circus performer in the circus ring in Sochi, a Black Sea resort town

A video shows the gruesome moment a lion attacks a well-known circus performer in the circus ring in Sochi, a Black Sea resort town

The drama started when two male lions started fighting during a performance at the 1,200-seat arena, before turning on trainer Makarenko.

The drama started when two male lions started fighting during a performance at the 1,200-seat arena, before turning on trainer Makarenko.

The drama started when two male lions started fighting during a performance at the 1,200-seat arena, before turning on trainer Makarenko.

Makarenko stepped in to stop the brawl, provoking a furious reaction from a third lion who attacked the trainer, knocking him to the ground.

Makarenko stepped in to stop the brawl, provoking a furious reaction from a third lion who attacked the trainer, knocking him to the ground.

Makarenko stepped in to stop the brawl, provoking a furious reaction from a third lion who attacked the trainer, knocking him to the ground.

Alexey Makarenko, a professional trainer, was attacked by a lion while performing at Russia's Sochi circus.  He is pictured with wife and fellow trainer Olga Borisova and a lion in an earlier appearance

Alexey Makarenko, a professional trainer, was attacked by a lion while performing at Russia's Sochi circus.  He is pictured with wife and fellow trainer Olga Borisova and a lion in an earlier appearance

Alexey Makarenko, a professional trainer, was attacked by a lion while performing at Russia’s Sochi circus. He is pictured with wife and fellow trainer Olga Borisova and a lion in an earlier appearance

Makarenko stepped in to stop the brawl, provoking a furious reaction from a third lion who attacked the trainer, knocking him to the ground.

Borisova rushed to help and used a whip to frighten the lion when the lights went out and the staff went into emergency mode, deploying water cannons and “sound grenades” to scare off the beasts.

Makarenko recovered and hurled a prop at the lion to chase him out of the ring of the Sochi State Circus.

Amazingly, the pair then bowed and hugged in front of the audience as if nothing had happened.

Many onlookers thought the kerfuffle was part of the act, according to a report.

Borisova even saved him from possible death, said Edgard Zapashny, head of the Moscow Grand State Circus.

A video shows the lacerations of the veteran lion tamer, who is now recovering.

Makarenko recovered and hurled a prop at the lion to chase him out of the ring of the Sochi State Circus.  He is pictured in a previous appearance

Makarenko recovered and hurled a prop at the lion to chase him out of the ring of the Sochi State Circus.  He is pictured in a previous appearance

Makarenko recovered and hurled a prop at the lion to chase him out of the ring of the Sochi State Circus. He is pictured in a previous appearance

Alexey Makarenko, a professional trainer, is pictured with his wife Olga Borisova, who also trains lions with him in the circus

Alexey Makarenko, a professional trainer, is pictured with his wife Olga Borisova, who also trains lions with him in the circus

Alexey Makarenko, a professional trainer, is pictured with his wife Olga Borisova, who also trains lions with him in the circus

Warning: graphic content

Alexey Makarenko

Alexey Makarenko

Professional trainer Alexey Makarenko

Professional trainer Alexey Makarenko

Alexey Makarenko, a professional trainer, shows his injuries after being attacked by a lion during a performance at Russia’s Sochi circus

The lion “clawed and sank its teeth” into Alexey Makarenko, leaving horrific wounds

“As I tell my students…battling lions are likely to unite and join the conflict,” Zapashny said.

“And today, in confirmation of my words, a lion attacked my colleague Alexei Makarenko.

“At the moment when both tamers decided to extinguish the conflict to avoid harming the animals, a third lion in the arena decided to attack the person who intervened in the conflict.

“We must pay tribute to Alexei’s wife, trainer Olga Borisova, who reacted in time and saved her husband’s life.

“Now Alexei is receiving medical care, but… he will soon be back in the ring of the Sochi Circus with his handsome lions.”

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