A ten-year-old boy had his arm bitten off by a lion while visiting a circus in east China's Anhui province, sources with a local hospital said on Monday.
The accident happened on Saturday afternoon in the Wanfota Park, where the circus had been invited to perform, in Mengcheng County.
The boy was watching the lion when the animal suddenly lunged through the bars of its cage and grabbed the boy with its paws, hospital sources said.
Park workers managed to pull the boy away, but his left arm had been torn away by the animal. The boy was taken to the local No. 1 People's Hospital, where doctors operated on him.
Mengcheng police said the space between the iron bars of the cage was too large, and failed to properly contain the lion. Police are questioning the park owners and circus organizers.
In April last year, a nine-year-old boy was eaten by a crocodile in Beihai City, in the southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The boy, with three other children, had scaled a fence around a pool that had been used to stage crocodile shows. They fired at the animals with catapults and beat them with wooden sticks.
In February this year, a local court found the crocodile keeper responsible because of his lax management and ordered him to pay 220,000 yuan (30,560 U.S. dollars) to the boy's parents in compensation.
(Xinhua News Agency February 26, 2008)