Lion cubs may look cuddly and harmless, but a family in Russia recently learned the hard way that they’re still wild animals (video below).
Handler Olga Orlova in the town of Vladimir, near Moscow, was showing off a lion cub on a leash to several spectators when the cub’s attention was directed towards a child frolicking nearby. The cub, who is named Faina, took advantage of its long leash and leaped to attack the small child, Nine MSN reported.
The child, who has not been identified, screamed and cried for his mother as the lion cub bit his neck. His mother screamed in Russian, “Oh my God, take it away! Take it away from him!” Orlova tried to drag the lion cub away, but Faina brought the boy along the ice. Eventually, the lion let go.
Fortunately, the child’s neck was protected by his thick scarf and coat, so he didn’t sustain serious injury, but there were teeth marks on him and the lion cub reportedly ripped out a part of the jacket.
Although there are conflicting reports on whether or not Faina belonged to a zoo or the circus, the event that brought the lion cub to town was shut down, Mirror reported.
A police spokesman summarized: "A circus employee was walking the lion cub on a long leash in the park, and she broke the basic safety rules. At some point she lost control over the cub and it attacked the boy.”
The spokesman added: "The circus is closed now and the cub has been placed back into a cage where it belongs. The investigation is ongoing."