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Toddler attacked by bear after climbing zoo fence

The Local · 19 Aug 2010, 11:52

Published: 19 Aug 2010 11:52 GMT+02:00

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The Dutch man and his wife had been strolling through the Eifel Zoo in Lünebach with their two children around 5:30 pm on Wednesday. At some point they failed to watch their toddler closely enough, and she scrambled over a 105-centimetre fence, falling into a moat surrounding a bear enclosure.

“The father of the child jumped over the fence immediately and brought the child – who had already sustained a swipe from the bear to her forehead – to safety,” a statement said.

The 28-year-old Asian black bear injured the man’s leg, but he was also able to get out of the enclosure on his own.

Other zoo visitors who witnessed the dramatic scene called emergency services, who treated the child on site before flying her to a Trier hospital via helicopter.

Her 34-year-old father received outpatient care at another hospital. Neither of their injuries are life-threatening, police said.

Story continues below…

Officers are now investigating whether the child’s parents or the zoo may be guilty of criminal negligence leading to the accident.

“What remains certain already is that the family from the Dutch province of Zeeland had a large portion of luck to go along with their bad luck,” the police statement said.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:31 August 19, 2010 by biker hotel harz
As long as the bear doesn't get the blame!
18:20 August 19, 2010 by NYsteve
I agree with biker hotel harz....

With the past articles on when an animal attacks a human...the people scream to put the animal down. In this case the bear is KNOWN to be a wild and dangerous animal....it is in an enclosure to keep people out. I truly hope the little girl and her father are OK now...a truly horrifying situation for anyone to go thru.

I remember reading about a similar incident, don't remember if it was here in the US or elsewhere...but the bear actually gathered the little child up and was protecting it until the zoo keepers could get it away from her. The bear did not harm the child at all.

Slightly different but I was amazed to see on TV about the bull in Spain who jumped into the crowd at a bull-fight......such a terrible "sport"...it should be banned once and for all. In this case the bull was getting even!!! but unfortunately they put the bull down by euthanizing it.
18:51 August 19, 2010 by biker hotel harz
Yes unfortunately it's often the caser the poor animal gets the rough en of the stick. Bullfighting should be banned immediately in all it's forms. Its a disgrace! The 40 or so injured at the bullring deserved everything they got.

People who mistreat, abuse or maliciously tease any animal are beyond comprehension!
02:08 August 21, 2010 by vonSchwerin
TT, Can we get a follow-up on this story?
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