Creepy moment lion jumps on Russian circus performer and ‘bares his teeth’ in front of horrified families as he runs to save his wife

  • Lion ‘claws and gnaws at’ circus artist Alexei Makarenko
  • His wife, who is also a trainer, ‘saved her life’ by driving the big cat away
  • The incident took place in a 1,200-seat amphitheater at the Black Sea resort of Sochi

A video shows the terrifying moment a famous circus performer in Russia was attacked by a lion.

The animal ‘clawed and gnawed’ at 42-year-old Alexey Makarenko during a demonstration in front of children and their parents.

His wife Olga Borisova, 43, also a trainer, ‘saved her life’ by chasing down the predator after he forced her onto the floor of the circus ring at the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The drama began when two male lions got into a fight during a play in the 1,200-seat arena.

A video shows the horrifying moment a lion attacked a famous circus artist in the circus ring at the Black Sea resort Sochi

The drama began when two male lions began a fight during an act in the 1,200-seat arena before pouncing on trainer Makarenko

The drama began when two male lions began a fight during an act in the 1,200-seat arena before pouncing on trainer Makarenko

After Makarenko intervened to stop the brawl, the third lion reacted furiously, attacking the trainer, knocking him to the ground.

After Makarenko intervened to stop the brawl, the third lion reacted furiously, attacking the trainer, knocking him to the ground.

Alexey Makarenko, a professional trainer, was attacked by a lion during a performance at the Sochi Circus in Russia.  He is pictured in a previous performance with wife and fellow trainer Olga Borisova and a lion

Alexey Makarenko, a professional trainer, was attacked by a lion during a performance at the Sochi Circus in Russia. He is pictured in a previous performance with wife and fellow trainer Olga Borisova and a lion

After Makarenko intervened to stop the brawl, a third lion reacted furiously, attacking the trainer, pinning him to the ground.

Borisova rushed to help, using a whip to scare the lion as the lights were switched off and crews went into emergency mode, deploying water cannons and ‘noise grenades’ to drive the animal away.

Makarenko recovered for throwing a prop at a lion at the Sochi State Circus to scare it out of the ring.

Amazingly, the pair then took a bow and hugged in front of the audience as if nothing had happened.

One report stated that many onlookers thought the kerfuffle was part of the act.

In fact, Borisova saved him from possible death, said Edgard Zapashny, head of the Great Moscow State Circus.

A video shows the veteran lion tamer’s wounds, which are now healing.

Makarenko recovered for throwing a prop at a lion at the Sochi State Circus to scare it out of the ring.  she is featured in the previous performance

Makarenko recovered for throwing a prop at a lion at the Sochi State Circus to scare it out of the ring. she is featured in the previous performance

Alexey Makarenko, a professional trainer, is pictured with his wife, Olga Borisova, who also trains lions with him at the circus

Alexey Makarenko, a professional trainer, is pictured with his wife, Olga Borisova, who also trains lions with him at the circus

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Alexey Makarenko

professional trainer alexey makarenko

Professional trainer Alexey Makarenko shows his wounds after being attacked by a lion during a performance at Sochi Circus in Russia

Lion 'claws and sinks its teeth' into Alexey Makarenko, causing horrific wounds

Lion ‘claws and sinks its teeth’ into Alexey Makarenko, causing horrific wounds

‘As I tell my students … fighting lions are likely to unite and participate in conflict,’ Zapaci said.

‘And today, confirming my words, a lion attacked my colleague Alexei Makarenko.

‘At the same time that both the tamed lions decided to end the struggle to prevent injury to the animals, a third lion in the arena decided to attack the person who intervened in the struggle.

‘We must pay tribute to Alexey’s wife, trainer Olga Borisova, who reacted in time and saved her husband’s life.

‘Alexey is now receiving medical care, but … he will soon be back in the Sochi circus ring with his handsome lions.’

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