A video uploaded to YouTube Friday shows the moment that a big lion pounced on its trainer during a late Thursday night circus performance in the Egyptian Nile delta city of Tanta. The video went viral on Egyptian social media after it was posted online Friday.
The 40-second clip shows famous Egyptian lion trainer Faten El-Helw entertaining the audience at the Egyptian-European Circus while standing in a caged enclosure. A lion crouches up and springs on her.
According to Ahram Online, the lion trainer was dancing to an Egyptian nationalist song, “Bushart Kheir,” that became popular during the 2013 presidential election. She was dancing and waving to the audience when a massive cat crouched up and pounced on her from the left corner of the video screen.
The lion then throws her to the ground.
But she recovers quickly after other trainers rushed to her aid. The video shows her on her feet within seconds. She is shown walking off stage with the assistance of a fellow trainer. She was taken to a hospital, and according to Ahram Online, doctors said she was in a stable condition.
She later posted a comment to her fans on Facebook, thanking “Allah” and “God of the throne” for saving her life.
“Thank God and Allah wants to do, God of the throne saved me. I am fine and thank God.”
According to the Blaze, Cairo journalist Samer Al-Atrush confirmed that the famed lion trainer said she would resume performing on stage very soon.
El-Helw comes from a family of famed lion trainers. She would consider herself lucky to have escaped the lion attack alive.
According to Ahram Online, her late husband, Ibrahim El-Helw, fellow trainer and owner of the circus, died in 2004 from injuries after being attacked by one of his lions.
But even that was not the first incident of a lion attacking a member of the family of lion trainers. There have been at least five other cases in the past in which a large cat attacked a member of the El-Helw family. A prominent member of the family, Mohamed El-Helw, was killed in the 1980s after he tried to break up a fight between two male lions during the mating season.
The El-Helw family circus was first founded in 1889 by Mohamed Ali El-Helw.