Sunday, Apr 26, 2015Sunday, Apr 26, 2015

Tiger kills circus trainer in Mexico in front of spectators

Published on Feb 6, 2013 6:49 AM
Yunona, a one-year-old female Amur tiger, walks inside her open-air cage at the Royev Ruchey zoo, in a suburb of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk February 3, 2013. Yunona was born at a zoo in the central Russia city of Izhevsk, and has recently been relocated to Krasnoyarsk for breeding with the present resident male Amur tiger named Kedr (Cedar). -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - An American tiger trainer was mauled and killed at a circus in north-western Mexico by one of the big cats performing with him, officials said on Tuesday.

Amateur video showed Alex Crispin Suarez, 35, circling around two tigers and making the animals turn while standing on low platforms during a performance on Saturday in the Indian village of Etchojoa in Sonora state.

As he passed behind one of the tigers, it suddenly stopped the routine, knocked Crispin to the ground, pulled his pants off and clawed at his neck.

Shocked spectators were heard screaming as circus employees rushed to the scene. One hit the tiger repeatedly with a metal stand, but the animal would not let go of its prey.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!