But despite the attempts to break their spirit, it seems trainers can't entirely stifle the empathy that seems to arise between circus animals - back in 2015, a video emerged showing circus elephants rushing to the side of their friend who fell while being forced to perform a stunt.
In this latest case at least, it seems some good has come out of the incident - Hangzhou Safari Park has reportedly suspended performances while conducting an internal review.
But Animals Asia is still hoping the brief clip will help people in other countries see the plight of performing tigers in a new light.
"These tigers were not born to perform - they do so under duress," the group said. "Not because they enjoy it."
To help Animals Asia improve the lives of circus tigers and other animals in Asia, you can make a donation. You can also sign this pledge promising to avoid shows with performing animals.