An eleven year-old boy has lost his hand and part of his lower arm after he was mauled by a tiger.
The tiger belongs to the Cascavel Zoo in Brazil; the incident, which happened on Wednesday, occurred when the boy’s father lifted him and his three year-old brother over a security fence at the zoo so the boys could touch and pet the big cats.
A witness to the horrific accident said the eleven year-old was feeding the tigers at the time; Ricardo Espindola is quoted as saying: “He was giving the tiger pieces of food, meat and stroking it. I finished looking at the animals, left, then heard screams.”
Footage posted to LiveLeak shows witnesses reported that they heard the boy’s anguished screams and his saying: “I’m going to die, I do not feel my arm.” The video also shows his shredded arm hanging uselessly at his side.
The boy was given first aid at the zoo and remained conscious throughout the ordeal. He was then rushed to hospital where he underwent emergency treatment, including the amputation of his hand; he remains in intensive care in hospital.
The director of Cascavel Zoo, Lauri Dallagnol, gave an interview after the incident, explaining that the security guard who is usually present in the tiger enclosure during the zoo’s opening hours was elsewhere in the zoo on other duties when the accident happened.