WARNING: GRAPHIC AND DISTRESSING CONTENT
Lion mauls a Palestinian boy who later died after he went with his family to visit a private zoo in the Gaza Strip.
The local police force in the coastal region, which is under the control of Hamas, confirmed the death of the boy named as six-year-old Hamada Iqtiet, on Monday, 1st May.
In the images, the lion can be seen mauling the boy, who is seemingly stuck in between the bars of the cage.
One footage reportedly shows the place where the boy went through the protective fence. Bloodstains can be seen on the cage’s bars.
Police spokesman Col. Ayman Al-Batniji said the boy had climbed through the protective fence in the Asdaa Park zoo in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, when he was attacked by the lion.
But, the boy’s family said that the lad, who was with his mother and other family members, had gone close to an outer fence where the lion was standing when he was attacked.
The officer pointed out that the police decided to close the park temporarily until the completion of an investigation.
It is reportedly the first time anyone has been killed by animals kept at one of the region’s several private zoos.
It sparked fresh calls for them to be closed, as the animals can not be properly cared for in the crowded and impoverished Palestinian territory.
The animals are reportedly kept in deplorable conditions and have suffered from repeated fighting between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers, leading to neglect, starvation and lack of medical care.
Although animal rights welfare groups have carried out several rescues of animals, many still remain in the strip that is home to some two million people.
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