Yakovleva was attending a circus show with her godson and his mother, Oksana Uskova, in Bogotol, Siberia where they were watching a leopard perform.
The leopard had reportedly become aggressive and was taken away by its handlers but was returned to the ring. Soon after it was brought back to the show, the big cat lunged at Timofey who was seated on the sixth row with his mother and godmother, but Yakovleva was quick to come to the rescue. She crouched over her godson seconds before the animal dug into her with its teeth.
Luckily her injuries were not life-threatening though she lost a lot of blood and fainted afterwards. She is currently recuperating at the hospital and intends to sue the circus organisers.