Woman Loses Part of Finger Petting Lion at Zoo She and the zoo are trading blame By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Aug 2, 2014 9:46 AM CDT 39 comments Comments (Shutterstock) (Newser) – It could have been much worse. Police in Michigan are investigating a woman's report that a lion bit off part of her finger at a small private zoo in northern Michigan. Renae Ferguson tells WNEM-TV that the big cat "ripped" her finger as she tried to pet it at Sunrise Side Exotics and Nature Trail in East Tawas, about 130 miles north of Detroit. Ferguson and her daughter say an employee allowed them to go near the lion's cage. But the zoo's owners say "she wanted to touch the lion and continued, against the guide’s warning, to put her finger inside the fence and the lion nipped the end of her finger.” Police are trying to determine whether any charges will follow.