Lion attacks girl at French zoo
A four-year-old girl in southern France suffered serious injuries to her face and back on Sunday when she was attacked by a lion at a zoo.
NICE, France, March 31, 2008 - A four-year-old girl in southern
France suffered serious injuries to her face and back on Sunday when she was
attacked by a lion at a zoo, local firefighters and zoo officials said.
The girl was taken to hospital after one of the three lions at the
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat zoo leapt from his enclosure and attacked the girl who
had walked past a security barrier with her uncle and mother.
The uncle had apparently raised the girl in his arms to get a better view
of the carnivores from the fence where they were standing.
"It all happened very quickly," said zoo director Gerard Caucheteux.
"When the uncle led the girl past the security barrier, the lion, probably
a lionness, saw this as an intrusion.
"The lion pounced and reached the fence limits of the enclosure that reach
4.5 metres (14 feet, nine inches) and found the girl within reach," he said.
Police said the girl's injuries were not life-threatening. Her mother and
uncle suffered scratches to their arms from the lion's claws.
"Our regulations stipulate that visitors should not wander beyond the
barriers set up in front of the enclosures," said the zoo director.
Police are investigating the attack, the first serious incident to occur at
the zoo in 60 years.