Moments of panic during a circus show in Kazan, Russia: two adult elephants started fighting and ended up beyond the confines of the arena, very close to the audience, in the stands. The spectators ran away, while the tamers managed, not without difficulty, to separate the two animals. The intervention of the trainers prevented the elephants from escaping the circus.

The images shot in the circus and published on social networks and local media show one of the two elephants charging the other several times, up to push it with violent blows over the fence, to the fright of the public, among which there were numerous children. A spokesperson for the Kazan State Circus told reporters that there were no injuries and that the two animals were brought to calm by their trainers.

At the origin of the violent behavior of the two specimens there could be a struggle to assert one’s authority over the other specimen. Andrei Dementyev-Kornilov, tamer of the Nikulin Circus in Moscow, recalled speaking with the local media that the structure of the elephant herd is of a matriarchal type and in that case the struggle would serve to establish hierarchies. “This is how they decide who is in charge and figure out who is the boss,” the trainer said, specifying that there are only female elephants in the Kazan circus. Among the hypotheses that have been advanced to explain the behavior of the two animals there would also be that of a possible fight for “jealousy”, to attract the attention of the tamer.

Fortunately, the tragedy was avoided, there were no injuries, only a different and dangerous show that should make us reflect. Circus exploits the animals with  a purely  economic aim as if they didn’t have a soul, a personality, a heart. This episode is loaded in meaning and could  have  been a tragedy.

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Liotta Antonio