Lion bites off child head at Gaza Zoo

A 6-year-old boy died of wounds sustained in an attack by a roaring lion at a zoo in the Gaza Strip on the Mediterranean coast.

The boy, identified as Palestinian Hamada Nidal Ikteet, stuck his head in a hole in a barbed wire, part of the lion’s cage, irritating the animal and inciting him to attack.


Security men pulled the child out as he bled from the head.

Palestinian doctors said the boy was rushed to a nearby hospital, but died there shortly afterwards.

“The child climbed a protective wall surrounding the lion’s cage and approached one of the  openings” in the barbed wire to access the cage, police spokesperson Ayman al-Batniji said in a statement.

He said that a police investigation was underway to determine the circumstances of the incident.

It was the first known fatality from animals kept at private zoos in the crowded and impoverished strip.

Gaza has several small private zoos, where animal rights groups say they are kept in deplorable conditions.

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