In this April 28, 2020 photo, 26-year-old lion tamer Ashraf el-Helw sits next to his 5-year-old female African lion 'Joumana,'…
FILE - Lion tamer Ashraf el-Helw sits next to his female African lion Joumana, after leading a show inside his family apartment, in Cairo, Egypt, April 28, 2020.

Many recreational and entertainment activities, including the circus, are closed in Egypt because of the coronavirus lockdown.

"After the coronavirus pandemic, we had to transfer all the (circus) animals to a park ... around 60 kilometers away from Cairo or from Giza," said Egyptian lion tamer Ashraf el-Helw. "This allows them to live their lives normally, as they would go to the park every month or two for a vacation, to go into the pools and there are large gardens and wide cages for them to interact socially, which energizes them."

El-Helw, however, decided to work with a female African lion named Joumana to find a way to continue to entertain people, while observing the government guidelines intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

"She performs with me in the circus and is very clever," el-Helw said. "So, I thought of bringing her home and putting on part of the show, to entertain people, the lion and myself."

FILE - Ashraf el-Helw performs a show, part of a coronavirus stay home and stay safe call to encourage people to stay home, with his female African lion Joumana and his sister, Bushra el-Helw, inside their apartment, in Cairo, Egypt, April 28, 2020.

He and his sister Bushra, also a lion tamer, have simplified their show and perform it with Joumana inside their Cairo apartment.  

The performances are posted on social media.

The siblings belong to a well-known family for lion taming and circus performances, and are descendants of Mohamed el-Helw, whose first circus shows date to late the 19th century.  
 

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