A tiger fight broke out at a circus gone wrong, leaving children and parents horrified.

The big top performance at Kislovodsk State Circus in Russia was quickly brought to an end as trainers attempted to bring the two female tigers to a standstill, throwing props at them and trying to separate them.

The fight lasted several minutes and quickly turned bloody as a white tigress named Gina, nine, attacked Eru, another tigress she was sharing the stage with.

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Eru was badly injured but she managed to clamber back onto a ring stool, where she collapsed in front of the audience while blood poured out of her wounds.

Other tigers were in the ring, but didn't participate in the fight.

The tigress is now being treated by vets who are "fighting to save her life", while the incident has led campaigners and audiences alike to call for animals to be kept out of the circus in Russia.

Famous Russian tiger trainer Yaroslav Zapashny, who was performing with his troupe on tour, has since issued an apology for the grisly incident, which was witnessed by hundreds of parents and children.

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"Today, a very fierce conflict broke out between two tigresses during my performance with predators," said Zapashny, who is a member of the fifth generation of a famous circus dynasty.

"One of the tigresses attacked another one.

"To avoid terrible wounds me and my tamers started pulling them apart. Security guards behind the [safety] net got involved…They were pulled apart."

He added: "One of the tigresses, unfortunately, has very serious wounds.

"She was loaded in a cage and taken [away]. Vets are now fighting for her life.

"I express my apologies to the audience for such an incident.

"This is the first case in my experience. Fights happen but such a fierce one was for the first time."

Circus experts believe that abnormally warm weather for this time of year in the south of Russia led to Gina "going into hunting mode ahead of time".

In another part of Russia, a lion attacked another well-known circus trainer just a day before the tiger fight broke out.

The beast "clawed and sank its teeth" into Alexey Makarenko, 42.

This attack also took place during a performance as children and their parents watched on, this time in the Black Sea resort, Sochi.

Makarenko's wife Olga Borisova, 43, who is also a trainer, "saved his life" by chasing away the big cat.

In the UK, the use of wild animals in travelling circuses has been banned since 2019.

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