The trainers have a difficult time controlling the lion and tiger and hit them repeatedly in order to force them to jump from one ladder to another or through a ring of fire.
I went to the zoo in a Wuxi, China and was shocked to see little children clapping as they watched animals (monkeys, bears, etc.) in chains, whipped to do crazy things like ride tricycles.
This is one in a series of clips I took with my digital camera of most of the show (the zoo in Wuxi is a smaller one and you will find longer shows elsewhere). The videos should, ideally, be watched in chronological order for best effect.