A tiger leapt up and attacked one of its trainers in front of the audience during a recent performance at Spain's Gottani Circus.
In footage of the attack, shown in local news reports, the tiger mauls a tamer and refuses to let him go until another circus worker intervenes. The tamer, who was identified as Denny Gottani, is seen walking away from the incident, which took place in Madrid Friday.
The 35-year-old was taken to a local hospital and treated for multiple injuries, including wounds on his head, back and legs. Though Madrid Health Services said the veteran tiger tamer did not sustain any damage to his vital organs, he is still being held for observation -- possibly in case of infection.
Gottani's mother was reportedly in the audience at the time. After the incident, she was treated for an anxiety attack by on-site medical services.
While the tiger attack shocked circus spectators, it's not uncommon for big cats to act aggressively toward tamers and trainers. Earlier this year, a trainer was killed by a tiger during a circus performance in Mexico.
Gottani, who has worked with tigers since he was 18, apparently never used whips when he performed with the animals, Spain's The Local notes. Witnesses told El Mundo that the tiger involved in the attack -- one of four in the act -- was not heeding directions before it pounced on Gottani.
Footage of the recent tiger attack at the Gottani Circus can be seen below.
WARNING: Graphic footage.
CORRECTION: A headline elsewhere on the site mislocated the incident in Mexico.