Terrifying footage has emerged showing a lion attacking at small girl at a festival in Saudi Arabia. The animal’s trainer has reportedly been questioned over the incident.
In the clip, the young lion can be seen surrounded by children inside a large cage. Some children can be heard laughing as they run around it, with others cautiously approaching it. The lion then spots a girl in the corner of the cage, runs over to her and pins her against the wall.
The lion then pulls the girl to the ground before the adult trainer attempts to free the child from its clutches. After a while, the girl is eventually pulled to safety with the help of some of the other children.
Some early reports suggested the attack happened after the children became trapped in the cage. However, the incident is believed to have occurred as part of the Jeddah Spring Festival, held in the city on the coast of the Red Sea. The children were allowed to run around and play with the six-month old cub as a part of a show, reports Gulf News.
Despite the horrific nature of the video, the girl in question was not seriously harmed.
“The children were delightfully playing, and the lion seemed to have been attracted by the butterfly ribbon on the head of the girl,” trainer Faisal Aseeri told Saudi news site Al Marsad.
“The girl is now faring well, and her condition is stable. She was not harmed. The cub is only six months old, and its claws had been removed to make sure it did not harm children during the play.”
Aseeri said the screams of the other children in the video make the incident appear worse than it really was.
The Jeddah Spring Festival, which aims to attract tourists to Saudi Arabia, was suspended in the wake of the incident.
A young girl was also attacked by a lion in Saudi Arabia in November 2016, according to Gulf News. The attack, also captured on video, took place in a market in Sakaka, in the northwestern part of the kingdom, while a trainer was parading it around as part of promotions for a show.
Warning: Some views may find the footage distressing.