Two elephants who terrified circus audience by brawling during a show are banned from performing after one of them broke a trainer’s spine when he tried to break up their latest fight
- Female giants last week sent people fleeing from the circus as they clashed
- Now their trainer Eduard Sheishenbekov has been wounded in their latest scrap
- The 29-year-old was sent flying when he intervened, breaking his back and ribs
- The elephants have been banned from performing with plans to pension them
Two circus elephants that staged a fight in front of terrified children and parents have been banned from performing after one of them broke a trainer’s spine.
There were scenes of chaos and panic last week as the female giants battled in Russian city Kazan with spectators running for the big top exits.
Now one of the pair – named Jenny and Magda – have sent trainer Eduard Sheishenbekov, 29, flying after he tried to break up their latest fight.
He suffered two spinal fractures, broken ribs and a punctured lung.
Drama: Two elephants came to blows in scenes of chaos at a Russian circus in a duel which one impresario suggested might have been caused by jealousy
Trainer Eduard Sheishenbekov, 29, (pictured with Magda and Jenny) was sent flying in a behind the scenes incident. He suffered two spinal fractures, broken ribs and a punctured lung
Floored: Circus trainers look on as one of the elephants is knocked to the ground during the performance in Kazan
Heading for the exit: Spectators flee the arena after the two elephants came to blows as trainers tried desperately to bring them under control
Trainer Eduard Sheishenbekov, 29, (pictured with the animals, left, and in a social media snap, right) suffered two spinal fractures, broken ribs and a punctured lung.
A long running show involving the pair has been cancelled due to the ‘impossibility’ of the Indian elephants going back in the ring after the incidents.
The aggressive behaviour is increasing demands for a ban on live animal shows which are popular in Russia.
Circus director Ramil Sharifullin said: ‘I cannot imagine how to stop the elephants from thundering towards the audience should they want to.’
Discussions are underway about pensioning the animals to a zoo or safari park.
The wounded trainer was undergoing surgery for his ‘serious’ injuries after he tried to stop a new show of aggression between the animals.
A source said: ‘The worker became accidentally involved in the female elephants’ fight.
‘He wasn’t the target of the attack.
‘Magda and Jenny have always treated people with great care.’
There were no injuries last week’s fight in the ring as hundreds watched a performance at the £10million Kazan State Circus, but spectators fled the show.
The two females – both longstanding circus performers – had previously got into a ‘conflict’ five years ago, said Sharifullin.
The circus later claimed that ‘jealousy’ may have been behind the brawl.
‘Possibly in pursuit of the trainer’s attention, what happened was a manifestation of the companion of love – jealousy,’ said a statement from the circus.
Stampede: The audience cleared out of the venue as the elephants fought at the side of the ring, although the circus director said that nobody was hurt
The circus animals pose on platforms during a performance in Kazan
The two elephants, Magda and Jenny, who got into a fight during the dramatic show in Kazan
The circus said that ‘in addition, the pandemic and lack of communication with spectators have certainly taken their toll on the animals’.
‘Thanks to the well-coordinated work of all the circus services, the unexpected situation ended happily,’ the circus said.
‘Jenny and Magda are currently calm, well-fed and in good physical shape… we sincerely apologise for what happened.’
The show was cut short and the following evening performance cancelled with tickets refunded.