An uncertain crowd could only look on in horror at the moment a tiger had a fit and collapsed after being forced to jump through a flaming hoop.
The six-year-old big cat, called Zena, was part of a show being led by brother-sister duo Artur and Karina Bagdasarov at the circus in Magnitogorsk, Russia.
The shocking video shows the tigress convulsing on the side of the ring, clearly in a great deal of pain. All the while Artur uses a long stick as a whip to keep six performing tigers from coming nearer.
In an attempt to jolt the collapsed tigress, Artur pours water over poor Zena, before dragging her from the ring by the tail.
Since the incident, the pair have been accused of animal cruelty but have defended their methods, saying the stick was necessary as they ‘feared the six other tigers would attack Zena’.
In the video Zena does eventually come round after suffering what is believed to be an ‘epileptic fit’.
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