A lion tamer has been mauled to death in Egypt during a live show, comprising mostly children.
Leaked footage of the tragic incident shows three lions performing tricks with two trainers, including Islam Shaheen, who was attacked.
The show took place in Alexandria.
As dance music is heard in the background, 35-year-old Shaheen, who had been a lion tamer for ten years, waved a large stick in the air beckoning one of the 200kg animals towards him, while another climbed a ladder.
It was at that moment when the third lion pounced on Shaheen, mauling his neck. The video - recorded by an audience member - shows the lion pinning the trainer to the ground.
The other two trainers can be seen rushing to help him as he lay motionless.
Shaheen was rushed to Adalusian Salam hospital where he passed away days later due to multiple serious injuries, including a fractured skull, deep cuts to his face and neck, broken bones in his chest and abdominal bleeding.
The lion was a new addition to the show and brought over from South Africa - and was apparently in mating season, causing it to behave erratically, according to Yahoo News.
It has now been pulled from the show.
This is not the first time a wild animal has mauled to death or attacked a trainer during a show. Here are a few tragic cases from recent years:
- In another case from Egypt, in 2015 a female trainer was attacked while going through the routine with the animal before it dramatically pounced on her in front of children and parents.
Faten El-Helw was back on her feet after a few seconds, after which she was taken to a hospital for a check-up.
Interestingly, El-Helw's late husband and fellow lion trainer Ibrahim El-Helw is reported to have been killed in 2004 when one of the animals turned on him.
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