A three-year old girl ended up being viciously savaged by a lioness during a circus performance in Russia’s Krasnodar Region when the animal suddenly managed to break through the protective barrier surrounding the arena and pounce upon the child.
WARNING: The following footage is graphic and may offend sensibilities
According to eyewitnesses of the attack, the lioness snatched the girl by the arm and dragged her into the arena where it proceeded to bite the child’s head.
The attack apparently occurred after the girl’s mother allowed her daughter to walk up to the barrier and wave a flag at the lion, a source told 360 TV channel.
The girl was quickly rushed to a local hospital, where she was treated for lacerations on her face.
The authorities launched a criminal investigation into the incident and detained the circus director for questioning.