A circus bear attacked its handler during a show in Russia on Wednesday, with horrified spectators sitting nearby. The traveling show took place in the town of Olonets in the Republic of Karelia, a region in northwest Russia, according to state-run news agency TASS. The bear, which was muzzled, had been performing in a circus tent full of seated spectators, including children, in an act called “Clubfoot and the Garden Wheelbarrow,” according to state broadcaster Vesti News. Footage from the scene shows the bear pushing a wheelbarrow, then following its handler across the mat, walking upright. Then it lunges, knocking the handler to the ground.
Another circus staff member rushes over, kicking the bear in the flank and shoulder. There are screams from the audience members, who are sitting close to the ring with no barrier in between.