Circus leopard escapes from circus ring and mauls woman

The spectator threw herself over her four-year-old godson to protect him

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Circus leopard mauls woman protecting four-year-old

A wild leopard escaped from a circus ring and mauled a woman spectator as she threw herself over her four-year-old godson to protect him from the attack.

The big cat tore flesh from her arm with its teeth after leaping into the sixth row of the audience.

See also: Drowning leopard rescued from 60-foot well

See also: Leopard attacks villagers in India

The horrifying incident was at a circus performance in Bogota, in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia.

Earlier, the enraged leopard called Loki had been removed from the ring by its female tamer during the performance at Aurora circus, because it seemed "aggressive".

Credits: East2West

East2West

When it came back, the angry animal made straight for the audience and four-year-old Timofey.

"Suddenly he jumped in front of my nose, I only had time to cover Tim," said Lyubov, who saved the child from a possibly fatal attack.

"The beast grabbed me with its teeth, and began to tear me up.

"I shrieked.

"What happened next, I don't remember except like everyone else we rushed for the door."

As the audience fled screaming with fear, employees of the travelling circus pulled the leopard away, but were also bitten and scratched in the process.

"I felt weak and nauseous," said Lyubov, who fainted as police rushed her to hospital, blood pouring from her arm.

Credits: East2West

East2West

The boy's mother Oksana Uskova said: "Doctors put in ten stitches, and her tendon was bitten all the way through, not to mention the stress and consequences in future...

"There was no safety, no fencing.

'We sat in the sixth row, but the animal was there in three seconds. This fear and horror still is in my eyes."

Credits: East2West

East2West

Lyubov "lost a lot of blood. There was blood everywhere", reported The Siberian Times .

The godmother said after the terrifying ordeal: "Thank God that I'm 53, and could protect my little godson."

Many children were at the show without parents or guardians, she said.

She may have lost the use of her hand, she fears.

"I'm in hospital now, my hand doesn't move properly. And doctors do not give any forecasts."

She plans to sue the circus over the incident.

"I do not blame the animal - no way," she said.

"I blame only the organisers."

Credits: East2West

East2West

She fears that similar attacks can happen if the circus is not forced to take safety measures if the owners are not punished.

Despite making an attack on the audience, the leopard has not been put down or removed from the circus.

It is expected to perform again.