1962 Photo Contest, Spot News, 1st prize

Cees Boer

19 May, 1962

A brown bear attacks Dutch singer Ria Kuyken in Circus Boltini. Between two shows of Circus Boltini, Kuyken visited the bear cage to get acquainted with the bears, with whom she was to perform an act during the Grand Gala des Artistes in Amsterdam a few months later. Together with circus director Tony Boltini and bear trainer Bubby Althoff, Kuyken entered the cage when she was attacked by a young bear who bit in her arm. The incident drew a lot attention of the press, both in Holland and in other European countries, and this photo and others from the series were published in many newspapers. Although it left Ria Kuyken with a scar, for her singing career, it meant an enormous boost. The bear was put down immediately, which caused some commotion with animal lovers.

About the photographer

Cees Boer

This image is collected in