A lion tamer was recently attacked by one of his lions during a show in Alexandria, Egypt (video below).
Adults and kids witnessed the brutal mauling of Islam Shaheen, who died a few days later in a hospital from multiple injuries, notes AlArabiya.net.
Shaheen's brother recalled that his sibling had worked as a lion tamer for ten years, and was killed by a new lion from South Africa.
Seif Ali, a buddy of Shaheen, told AlArabiya.net that the big cat was hungry, while another person suggested that loud music may have startled the beast.
A spokesperson for the circus, Mohammed Mustafa, insisted that the lion-like behavior happened because it is mating season for lions and the animal had been acting in an odd manner.
The lion has been pulled from shows, and is under evaluation by a veterinarian.
In February 2015, a lion attacked another tamer, Faten El-Helw, during a circus show in Tanta, Egypt, noted Mirror Online (video below).
Children watched as El-Helw was pinned down by the lion, but with some help from an unidentified man, she was soon back on her feet.
El-Helw was later transported to a local hospital where she recovered and posted a picture on Facebook.
El-Helw's late husband, also a trainer, reportedly died from a lion attack in 2004.
After El-Helw was attacked, Thomas Chipperfield, a trainer of big cats in the U.K., wrote in The Telegraph:
Having worked with lions and tigers all my life, I’ve come to the conclusion they can have similar levels of affection for a human as might a dog. They enjoy working and learning new things. They’re happy to have you around and treat you as one of their own. But you always have to remember that they are wild animals. Even a Jack Russell will bite someone one day, and it’s going to hurt a lot more if a lion bites you.
So while you have to create an environment where the animals feel comfortable around you, you also have to be a figure of authority. There has to be a limit where you say: "No. Go and do that among yourselves. That’s not for me." It’s a fine line to walk, because you have to be firm in a way that doesn’t cause them to resent you or perceive you as a threat.
You can’t afford to mistreat a lion or tiger because eventually they’ll get fed up and show you that they’re much bigger, stronger and faster than you are - and that can only end badly. But if you have respect for your animals and you’re aware of their [behavior] and mood on any given day, there’s no reason why a trainer should ever get hurt.