For one family, a trip to Nikulin's Circus
in Moscow almost turned deadly. Earlier this week, circus-goers were waiting outside of the ring before the circus performance when a trainer decided to walk his leopardess through the crowd. According to the circus, this happens all the time, but on that day, the leopardess had had enough. In an instant, as she passed by a 4-year-old girl with her family, the big cat lunged out, grabbed the child by the neck and dragged her away to the sounds of a screaming crowd. All the family could do was look on in horror as the trainer tried desperately to release her from the feline's jaws.
Luckily, the cat didn't get too far, and people were able to wrench the toddler away. The girl was left shaken but aside from a few scratches, she was relatively unharmed. This is the second mauling of a young girl by a circus cat in Russia and less than two weeks.
And it just goes to show that wild animals, especially big cats who are capable of inflicting serious damage in a matter of seconds, should never be used as props for entertainment.
Moscow officials have opened a case against the circus director, and if found guilty of safety violations he could face up to six years in prison. However, shockingly, circus spokesman said that the leopardess would continue to work. In a tone-deaf statement he told reporters that the cat sees up to 2,000 people a day without incident and would continue to do so.
Without incident? A girl nearly lost her life!
This circus clearly doesn't care about the wellbeing of its customers or their animals. Thankfully, the leopardess didn't fatally hurt the girl
, but if she had, then two beautiful living creatures would have lost their lives. The young girl, in the jaws of a big cat and the cat, would have been put down by officials.
Neither of those situations are acceptable. Let's work together to stop Nikulin's Circus from endangering people and animals. Sign the petition and demand that they stop using big cats in their performances and relinquish them to a reputable animal sanctuary.