Lion Mauls Four-Year-Old in Russian Zoo

Four-year old Nastya was brought to the Children’s Clinical hospital in Moscow on June 4th. Two days earlier she was attacked by a female lion in Tambov zoo. Her transfer to Moscow was postponed for 19 hours. Moscow doctors who examined the child stated that the condition is serious but stable, and she is expected to survive.

Nastya’s transportation was postponed three times. By 1am the ambulance with the child connected to an artificial respiration unit left Tambov. It arrived in Moscow at 6:30am. The girl was accompanied by a team of doctors and her mom. She was immediately place to the intensive care unit.

“The child’s condition is serious, but stable. She has multiple injuries of internal organs, limbs and soft tissues,” said Nikolai Vaganov, chief doctor of the hospital.

Doctors mentioned there were no life-threatening symptoms, but the girl requires help of numerous specialists, including neurosurgeons, orthopedic specialists, and vascular surgery doctors. Now the doctors are conducting integrated examination of traumas and looking for most threatening conditions and symptoms. The treatment will commence immediately after tests.

Meanwhile, workers of the Moscow Zoo think that mechanical protection systems like nets, ditches and glass can save children from similar accidents.

“The safest separator between animals and visitors is glass that the visitors cannot penetrate,” said Natalya Istratova, Moscow Zoo press secretary.

There are many questions for the Tambov Zoo. Technically speaking, it is a small exposition of animals at Tambov University. Animal specialists think that adults should be those responsible.

"The grandmother should not have let the kid come that close to the cage. We teach tigers not to jump on the backs, but the girl was so close that the animal immediately grabbed her,” said Michail Bagdasarov, animal trainer.

In the 1970s the famous lion named King was raised in the family of famous animal trainers, the Berberovs. The lion was shot when it attacked a person. The Berberovs took another baby lion, King the junior. When the lion grew up a tragedy happened. Nina Berberov miraculously survived, but her son Roman died. That accident was a lesson for many years, but obviously it has been forgotten.

"If I stretch my hand out I will lose it immediately. Adults have to be attentive. A four year old kid doesn’t know any better, she has no fear. She thinks it’s a cat, soft, big and furry. But it’s a predator. Those who put the kid next to the cage are to blame,” says Bagdasarov.

In this case it will take specialists a while to get all the details straight. Even doctors are not sure how long Nastya will stay in the intensive care unit.


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov