Boy mauled to death by lion after he climbed into cage

A six-year-old boy has been mauled to death by a lion at a private zoo in the Gaza Strip after reportedly climbing over the big cat’s protective fence. The tragic incident is believed to have occurred on May 1 at the Asdaa Park Zoo in the town of Khan Younis, a town in southern Gaza. 

Whether the Hamada Iqtie climbed through the protective fence or went too close to an outer fence where the lion was standing is unclear. 

Although the Palestinian police have said the boy climbed through the protective fence, Hamada’s family disputed this account.

Footage from the scene showed bloodstains on the bars of the lion’s cage.

This is believed to be the first time that anyone has been killed by animals in one of the region’s many private zoos. 

The Daily Star reports that the incident has sparked renewed calls for the closure of such facilities due to concerns about the welfare of animals in the overcrowded 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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Police confirmed that they had closed the private zoo as a safety precaution, according to reports.

This week, a worker at a safari park in South Africa was reportedly killed by an elephant’s tusk.

The victim, Kabelo Mashao, was a 36-year-old elephant handler who was on patrol at the Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve near Ceres.

He saw one of the elephants open a latch on a safety gate and went to fix the problem.

However, the elephant charged at him and attacked him with its tusks, resulting in the father-of-two’s death.

Mashao was said to be familiar with the animal that attacked him.

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