A man has been mauled by a bear after he forgot to take off his face mask before going inside the enclosure.
28-year-old Valentin Bulich, a circus trainer, reportedly entered the trained bear’s cage with his mask on. Because part of his face was covered, the animal did not recognize the young man and it attacked him right away.
The bear called Yasha clawed at Bulich’s body and tore his scalp off, a source at the Great Moscow State Circus said.
The young circus trainer was rushed to a hospital where he passed away due to severe injuries.
A source at the circus told BAZA Media: “Valentine went in alone – this bear knew him well. What happened? He forgot to take off his Covid mask.
“He entered the cage with a mask, and the bear did not recognise him. He turned away from the bear with his back, and it immediately attacked him.
“Everything looked as if it was a normal routine work.
“He entered the cage, closed it, and turned around in the mask.”
Tatyana Zapashnaya, a senior circus official, also said: “It is very difficult for us. Everything happened very quickly and unexpectedly.
“This is a disaster that we must deal with. We are very concerned about this incident.”
Yasha the trained bear is known for performing stunts. But animal welfare groups strongly object to the use of animals in circuses.
A spokesperson for the animal rights group VITA, Irina Novozhilova, said: “No circus conditions will be humane for one simple reason.
“Training goes hand in hand with cruelty. Circuses are always cruel beyond limits, and circuses with animals should be banned.”
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