Six-year-old boy killed by lion at private zoo

Six-year-old boy killed by lion at private zoo

Tragedy at private zoo. Credit: mojoeks/

In a horrific incident, a young boy visiting a zoo with his family was killed by a lion after getting too close to the enclosure.

The six-year-old victim named Hamada Iqtiet, was with his mother and other family visiting a private zoo in Gaza, Palestine, on Monday, May 1 when the horror unfolded, according to The Sun.

Col Ayman Al-Batniji, a police spokesman, told reporters that while visiting the Asdaa Park Zoo, Khan Younis in southern Gaza, the animal struck when the boy climbed through the protective fence.

However, the boy’s family claim that Hamada had simply gone up to an outer fence where the lion was standing before being mauled to death.

Video evidence appears to show the boy getting stuck between the bars of the cage while the lion fatally attacked him. Other images reveal the bars of the cage stained with blood.

The Palestine region has numerous private zoos, and this is the first report of any such fatality resulting from an animal attack. Until a proper inquiry can be carried out, the  Asdaa Park Zoo has been closed by investigating officers.

The troubled region has been often criticised by animal rights groups as there are not the resources to care for animals in the overcrowded and poverty-stricken Palestinian land.

Owing to the ongoing situation in Palestine, with the conflict between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers, animals kept in captivity are often subject to a lack of medical care, neglect, and starvation.

Thanks to the efforts of various animal rights welfare groups some animals have been resettled in safer areas, but there are still many that remain in the Gaza Strip which has a population of around two million people.

Recently private zoos around the world have been called into question over the treatment of animals and the lack of safety regulations after two other fatal attacks on zoo staff were reported .

This latest terrible tragedy has renewed calls for zoos and private animal parks in Palestine to be closed down.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.