Wednesday, 22 October 2014

NEWSLINK: UPDATE: Child bit on neck and foot after falling into zoo's big cat exhibit

10th October 2014

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -UPDATE (12:00 p.m.):

Statement from Arkansas Children's Hospital:

"Yesterday a child was transported to Arkansas Children's Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in a fall at the Little Rock Zoo. The child's condition has been upgraded to stable and is expected to improve. We respect the wishes of the child's guardian who asked that the child's name and any additional information not be shared at this time. Thank you for respecting the privacy of this family.”

- Dan McFadden
Director of Communications
Arkansas Children's Hospital

UPDATE (5:30 p.m.):

According to the report from the Little Rock Police Department, a primate keeper heard the calls for help at the jaguar exhibit and ran over to help. She said she saw the yellow jaguar (Agave) with its mouth around the little boy's neck.

Police say the father of the child told them he was leaning over the rail trying to get a picture of the animals and out of his peripheral vision saw the child's feet go over the rail. The father ran for help.

The little boy reportedly fell approximately 15 to 16 feet. The father said the black cat (Cactus Jack) bit the child on the foot and Agave bit into the clothing near the boy's neck. The father told police he picked up a water hose spool and threw it at the cats. The spool hit the cats and caused them to let go of the boy. The father said the Cactus Jack moved away from the child, but Agave circled back and bit the boy on the back of his neck. The father said he threw a camera bag at the cat, hitting it and causing it to let go of the boy. At that point, zoo staff arrived and kept the cats at bay with fire extinguishers so the child could be rescued.

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