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Shock over 'fat cats' on parade at newly reopened Vladivostok Circus

By The Siberian Times reporter
18 December 2017

Less-than-lissom lions have been fed on junk food in captivity, says expert.

Lions and tigers perhorm during reopening of Vladivostok Circus. Picture: Maria Borodina, PrimaMedia

The chunky cats are the star attraction at the reopening of Vladivostok Circus, but pictures of the performing beasts have led to criticisms of their diet and the 'cruelty' of keeping wild creatures in a touring troupe.

The animals - in an 'Empire of Lionesses' show - are trained by celebrated handler Vitaly Smolyants, known as a big cat whisperer.

Pictures highlighting their performance in the Russian Far East brought a swift response on social media, with accusations the big cats are badly treated.

'The lionesses are clearly suffering from obesity. It might be better to show them to a vet, not circus visitors,' was one comment.

'They need the gym,' said another.

'They are making clowns out of wild animals,' warned seryoga_chizh.

There were calls to 'stop torturing animals, - they don't like jumping through fire and sitting on their rear feet'.

davolnaya demanded: 'When will these concentration camps for animals be banned?'

Shock over 'fat cats' on parade at newly reopened Vladivostok Circus


Shock over 'fat cats' on parade at newly reopened Vladivostok Circus


Shock over 'fat cats' on parade at newly reopened Vladivostok Circus

Circus animals during permormance and in their travelling cages. Pictures: Maria Borodina, PrimaMedia

Animal rights' activists called for checks by the prosecutors' office on the health of the captive wild animals.

Sergey Aramilev, director of Amur Tiger Centre, said: 'Wild animals kept in captivity do put on weight.

'It's good that they are not skinny, which is more often the problem with zoos and circuses.

'Animals are (often) not fed properly and they starve. It's the same as with people who don't do sports. 

'But it's is too early to talk about danger [for their health]. Of course, if they were fed with wild meat, they would have looked different.

'This is like comparing healthy and junk food; however, so far I don't see obesity that could affect the cardiovascular system.'

Shock over 'fat cats' on parade at newly reopened Vladivostok Circus


Shock over 'fat cats' on parade at newly reopened Vladivostok Circus


Shock over 'fat cats' on parade at newly reopened Vladivostok Circus
Circus trainer insits lions and tigers are not fat. Pictures: Maria Borodina, PrimaMedia


Vitaly Smolyanets, 44, a highly respected circus trainer who two years ago lost both legs after rushing to help an injured man after a highway crash, insisted: 'Our animals are old.

'People put on weight as they get old, the same with animals.

'They gave birth, and afterwards they put on weight [too].

'We look after their health. They feel excellent, I don't see obesity.'

He said: 'No-one is giving them too much food - they eat once a day in the evening.

'If they have a performance in the afternoon, they are also given a snack.

'Each animal gets 6 kg of meat per day, this is considered a full daily intake.'

His big cats - including tigers - are famous for shows all over Russia. 

Comments (3)

Send in your equivalent of the "SPCA" because these lions look fatter that fat. And your man...the trainer..says they're old, well if they're old & I am sure they are, why is he pushing them to their deaths? What way is that to treat the elderly, boy, I'm glad I'm not his father!
Jaker, Dundalk
20/12/2017 09:42
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I thought I ate a lot of junk food.
stephen kastl, Raleigh, NC, USA
20/12/2017 04:26
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I lived and worked in the Russian Far East for 5 years and also met my wonderful wife Olga there. I come from New Zealand. I always like your stories of the Russian Far East and look forward to reading them when they are published. Do you have a system where I can subscribe and your news comes into my in-box automatically when it is published.

Ian Robertson ( Yan Yanovich ) ( used by my Russian family.)
Ian Robertson, New Zealand
19/12/2017 08:17
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0
1

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