Bear cub kicked and beaten with a stick in China
4th November 2022

Bear cub helplessly clings on to circus trainer’s leg as it is kicked and beaten with a stick mid-show in China

  • The incident happened in the city of Jinan, in province of Shandong
  • Performers were in middle of a show involving a young bear, appearing to be cub
  • Then proceeded to repeatedly kick it and hit it on the head with a stick  

This is the shocking moment circus performers beat and kicked a terrified bear cub with a stick in China. 

Footage taken in Jinan, in the Chinese province of Shandong, shows performers in the middle of a show involving a young bear.

The animal suddenly started jumping and trying to grab their legs. 

One of the performers tried to step aside and let the animal handler deal with the situation but the bear followed him and held onto his leg, so they started kicking it. 

They also hit the bear on the head with a stick and pulled on its lead. 


Footage taken in Jinan, in the Chinese province of Shandong, shows performers in the middle of a show involving a young bear. The animal suddenly started jumping and trying to grab their legs.

Music used in the act was drowned out by the sound of screaming people.

When performers managed to pull the bear away and threw it inside a cage, the ‘show’ came to an abrupt end.  

The staff reportedly said afterwards that the bear was trying to hug the man.

They suspected that the bear may have become short-tempered due to the cooling weather.   


They also pulled on the bear’s lead. Eventually they managed to pull the bear away and throw it inside a cage

The circus said that the performers were not injured but said they had decided to stop doing the bear show so that the audience and visitors would not worry. 

The video was filmed by one of the audience members, appalled by the events unfolding in front of them.

It was shared on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, where commenters have condemned the cruel act.

Commenters have also slated the circus for putting on brutish animal shows.  

It is unclear if they are being investigated for animal cruelty.

It comes after a performing brown bear last year attacked a female trainer in front of horrified children and their families at a circus in Russia.

Footage recorded by a spectator shows the wild animal – dressed in a hat and pink glittering scarf – suddenly clawing at the blonde woman during a performance in Berezovsky, in the Kemerovo region.

The bear can be seen swiping at the trainer and holding onto her foot and ankle before it is grabbed by the neck and pulled away by two male performers. 

The shocking incident at the Harlequin Travelling Circus took place just metres away from children and their parents – who had no barriers or fencing protecting them from the beast. 

The video clip then shows how despite the female trainer appearing to have fallen over in pain, the bear is made to continue performing tricks with her.

The animal then makes another attack before it is pulled away yet again. 

According to reports there was even a third attack, however the video shared online does not continue long enough to show it. 

The woman is not believed to have sought medical treatment following the incident.  

The circus is known for dressing bears in human clothes – with some wearing tutus – and ‘prides itself on humane training of the animals’.

Moment performing bear attacks a circus trainer in Russia in front of terrified children and their families 


The female trainer at the Harlequin Travelling Circus is filmed struggling to release her leg from the grip of the bear during the attack

The Russian Investigative Committee was studying the incident to check whether there were safety breaches during the performance – particularly as there appears to be no fence or barrier protecting spectators.

The Harlequin Travelling Circus later denied there had been an attack, despite the video evidence.

A spokesman told Mash Siberia: ‘There was no incident whatsoever.

‘Simply speaking, bears are now in mating season.’

The circus promises ‘an unforgettable large-scale performance with a wide variety of animals’ to ‘surprise every city in Russia’.

Its website reads: ‘The artists present a symbiosis of training, clownery and high-class stunts in the circus ring.’

The bear was dressed in a white hat and pink glittery scarf as it was made to perform tricks before turning on its trainer 

The bear was filmed attacking the trainer for a second time after being made to continue performing tricks 

Two male circus performers grabbed the bear by the back of its neck to pull it away from the trainer as spectators filmed the terrifying moment 

Tickets to the show were priced at 500 roubles – or £4.90.

Irina Novozhilova, of animal rights group VITA, called for the prohibition of all circuses with live animals, which remain popular across Russia.

‘No circus conditions will be humane for one simple reason,’ she said.

‘Training goes hand in hand with cruelty… circuses are always cruel beyond limits.

‘And circuses with animals should be banned.’

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