A performing tiger froze and suffered a seizure at a Russian circus on Sunday, after jumping through flaming hoops for famous animal trainer Artur Bagdasarov.
In a circus performance in the city of Magnitogorsk, near the Kazakh border, Bagdasarov and an assistant put a pack of tigers through their paces, with the beasts jumping through hoops for the audience. While waiting for her turn, one tiger begins convulsing and pawing at the cage surrounding the ring, before stiffening up completely.
Bagdasarov pokes the tiger with a stick, as a stagehand throws water on the animal. The tiger recovers after Bagdasarov drags her away by the tail, and after swiping at her trainer she is led off stage. Bagdasarov told Russian media that is was not possible to determine what exactly happened to the tiger, but said that she recovered afterwards and was drinking and eating as normal after the show.
Amid accusations of animal cruelty, Bagdasarov explained that his first priority was to drag the tiger away from the cage and out of harms way. Splashing the tiger with water was necessary to resuscitate her, he told MK.ru.
“If I had not brought the animal to life, it would have simply been ripped apart by the rest of the predators, who were in the arena,” he explained, adding that from now on the tiger would be receiving regular examinations.
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