An audience member has captured the shocking moment a lion attacked his trainer during a circus performance in Ukraine.
Hamada Kouta, 32, from Egypt, was bitten and taken to ground by the lion before the animal continued its attack on the helpless trainer.
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Once it was clear the dangerous attack was happening, music in the arena was abruptly stopped and fellow circus staff were heard calling the lions away from the downed Kouta.
Kouta then managed to push the lion off and get to his feet, which prompted the animal to back away and eventually leave the main performance area.
The attack, which took place on March 23 in the city of Lugansk, was brushed off by Kouta as being the result of the lions just being in a bad mood and it wasn't their fault.
"They did not have time to adapt, because we arrived and immediately began to perform," he told local TV station Louga 24.
"They can be moody, like people. For example, you can wake up in the morning in the bad mood. That's it, the whole day will be like this. They are just the same."
Kouta even continued on with the show following the mauling with the aim of assuring children in the crowd that the lions were safe, and he was fine - despite him suffering deep scratches and gouge marks on his arms and shoulder.
"I calmly called them back, because there were children in the audience," he said. "The most important thing for me is to see children in the audience."
"Of course, I was covered in blood, but I asked everybody to calm down and started the performance all over again, from the beginning."
Despite the attack and his injuries, Kouta hasn't lost trust in the lions he calls his children.
"My back, arm, and leg were hurt. Scars from two claws and one tooth are on my leg, tooth marks on my arm, one 4cm deep from three claws on my back.
"When there are attacks on trainers, 99 percent are the trainer's fault. For example, this attack was my mistake, because I missed the moment."