A video of two lions being treated cruelly and escaping their cage during a circus show in Luoyang, China has gone viral, sparking outrage among animal rights activists.
The footage shows the lions breaking free from a circular metal cage while circus performers attempted to guide them with sticks. One lion was instructed to jump through a hoop but became entangled, causing it to panic and run wildly, eventually escaping through a gap in the cage. Both lions were seen roaming around the edges of the cage before breaking free, causing spectators to flee.
The incident has renewed calls to ban the use of wild animals in circus shows. “It is clear that these animals do not want to do these silly tricks,” reads the caption of the video posted on the We Are Not Food Twitter page. “Leave the animals alone and let them live their lives in peace. I think these lions look skinny. How are they punished now? Beating and starving?”
Animal activists have condemned the treatment of the lions and called for stronger laws to protect animals in circuses. “Poor babies. This should be illegal,” said one commenter. Another expressed shock at the laughter heard in the video as the lion struggled.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, one of the lions made its way onto the street before being caught by authorities. No injuries were reported. The incident has once again brought attention to the mistreatment of animals in circuses, with many countries already having banned the use of wild animals in such shows.