Friday, October 23, 2009

Ice-skating Bear Kills Circus Head

From the October 23, 2009 edition of the Times Online comes this tale:

A circus bear killed one person and injured another during rehearsals for an ice-skating show.

The bear, which was part of the Russian State Circus, killed Dmitri Potapov, 25, a circus director who was visiting the show in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. An animal handler who tried to stop the attack suffered bruising to the brain and lacerations to his scalp.

It is unclear why the bear, which was wearing ice skates at the time, attacked Mr Potapov. The bear was later shot by police.

Deadly attacks are rare in the country's circuses, which often train bears to wear skates and play ice hockey.
Back in the 1970s, when we were on a Midwest tour, one of the attractions on the same bill was bear wrestling.

In the parlance of the day, it was called an "At Show", meaning it involved athletic endeavors --- in this case a broad back and a weak mind. The bear was kept in a stock trailer and brought out, muzzled, to wrestle townies who paid or the privilege. The owner and his son had one $100.00 bill that they displayed before each show, trying to build a tip of interested enough Iowa farmers who wanted to see one of their neighbors attempt to wrestle a bear.

You could win the money by staying in the ring with the bear for three minutes or something. They never spent that $100, it was part of the act and to spend it would be akin to the acrobats who balanced on chairs burning their chairs for heat during a cold snap.

(Speaking of coldsnaps,I can remember taking a hair dryer and lying on the ground under our motorhome thawing out sewer pipes.)

Ice skating bears killing people, Stephen Colbert sensed this day would arrive,sooner than later.

No comments: