A bear in a central China zoo bit off a boy’s arm as he attempted to feed it through its cage, a doctor said Sunday.
The Associated Press reports that Chinese state media indicated the attack happened Saturday at the zoo inside Pingdingshan Hebin Park in Henan province.
A doctor who treated the 9-year-old boy said he lost his entire right arm, some of which had to be amputated.
The Daily Mail ran photos, taken from social media sites, that showed the traumatic aftermath of the attack. The photos depict the boy standing calmly as paramedics rush to stop the bleeding from the stump below his right shoulder. Another photo shows the bloody remains of the boy’s arm, lying in the bear’s cage.
Witnesses said the boy’s grandfather had gone to buy some candy when the boy climbed over a safety rail to get closer to the bear so he could try to feed and pet it.
That is when the bear grabbed his arm, witnesses said. The boy reportedly screamed and tried to free his arm for nearly 10 minutes until the bear ripped it from his body.
Zoo staff took another 20 minutes to retrieve the severed arm from the bear’s cage.
The boy’s family blames the zoo, saying staff should have been supervising the bear.
His mother, Zhang Ku, said she couldn’t believe the doctors when she arrived at Pingdingshan Number 152 Hospital and was told that what remained of her son’s arm would have to be amputated.
“I don't know how we will ever get over this. Our entire family has been ruined because of this zoo,” she said. “They should have made it safer and they should have always had staff on duty to supervise the animals.”
Jeffrey Tittel, director of environmental organization New Jersey Sierra Club, told the Daily Mail that bears are typically docile and even afraid of humans. However, he said, bears that are typically fed by humans come to view them as a source of food and can often become aggressive.
The zoo declined to comment on the incident. The local forestry bureau could not be reached.
Photo Source: Daily Mail (Via EuroPics [CEN])