THIS is the shocking moment a black bear tried to maul a trainer on stage as three colleagues desperately attempted to beat it off during a circus show in China.
The incident was filmed by an audience member at a circus in the township of Qinghetou in the county of Puyang in the eastern Chinese province of Henan on October 2.
During the performance, the bear suddenly knocked the trainer to the floor and started biting his clothes, refusing to let go.
With all of its bulky 31.5-stone weight on top of the trainer, the bear bit the man’s clothes and footwear while helpers battered its huge frame with poles.
Li Jun, the animal’s owner, said: “Our performance animals have no teeth. We are afraid of accidents so we have been filing down their teeth since they were young.”
The trainer and the bear had been performing together for several years and this is the first incident.
Li said: “The reason it happened is because someone in the audience threw a piece of ham on the stage.
“I picked up the ham and did not give it to the bear so it was angry and unwilling to perform.
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“People should not throw food on the stage during a circus performance.”
The local authorities confirmed that no audience member was injured and that the circus has been suspended.
The black bear was sent back to Wuxi City while the trainer was treated for his minor injuries and vaccinated from possible infection.