Terrifying moment lion turns on trainer during circus performance

Video shows big cat pouncing on Faten El-Helw

Updated: 


The moment a lion attacked its trainer during a circus performance in Egypt was captured on camera.

In the 40-second video, Faten El-Helw is seen dancing and waving at her audience during a display in the city of Tanta on Thursday.

According to Ahram Online, the renowned circus trainer was suddenly pounced on by the animal. The audience member filming the footage stands up along with the rest of the audience before El-Helw is seen walking off the stage accompanied by a man.

New York Daily News reports that she was wrapped in a mid-air bear hug and thrown to the ground. Amazingly, the circus trainer was back on her feet just seconds after the attack.

She was taken to hospital, where her condition was reported as stable.

El-Helw's late husband was lion trainer and circus owner Ibrahim El-Helw, who died from his injuries after a lion attack in 2004.

The Egyptian-European Circus has been performing all over Egypt since the mid-1990s.

Last year, a circus performer fell to his death during a live show in Brazil.

Wilson Gomes Barreto, 28, was performing a pendulum trick when it went horribly wrong.

The Daily Mail reports that he fell 35 feet onto the stage at a show in Londrina, southern Brazil.

Emergency workers rushed to his aid and the lights were cut. He was conscious and complained of a fractured elbow after the fall but after being taken to a local hospital, Barreto died two days later.

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