This is the terrifying moment when a circus big cat tamer is attacked by a tiger during a live performance.
Shocking video footage of the mauling shows circus-goers gasping in horror as the tiger sank its razor-sharp teeth into the keeper at the show in Italy.
Tamer Ivan Orfei, 31, is seen concentrating on one tiger sitting on top of a giant metal ring at the performance in Lecce on 29th December.
But while his attention is distracted, a second tiger sneaks up behind him and pounces.
As Ivan shrieks in surprise, the rogue tiger first clamps its jaws around his left leg.
Then as the tamer struggles to get free, the tiger jumps on his back and tries to bite his neck, the way a big cat normally finishes off its live prey.
He only gets free when an assistant beats the tiger with one of the show’s props, allowing Ivan to limp away.
Immediately after the vicious mauling, Ivan was taken to the emergency department of Vito Fazzi Hospital with deep wounds to his neck and leg.
His injuries are said to be serious but non-life-threatening. At the time of reporting, he remained in hospital.
Local media reported that an investigation into the incident is now underway and that the tiger will be seen by a vet.
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Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Central European News
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