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Jaguar Bites 3-Year-Old's Neck at Zoo

Boy in stable condition in Arkansas hospital
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2014 3:09 PM CDT
3-Year-Old Bitten in Zoo's Jaguar Display
A boy is in stable condition after falling into a jaguar display.   (AP Photo/Akron Zoo, David Barnhard)

A jaguar bite to the neck left a three-year-old boy in critical condition—but he's now "stable and ... expected to improve," the Arkansas Children's Hospital says. The boy was visiting a zoo in Little Rock, Ark., when he fell into the jaguar display, USA Today reports. Hearing calls for help, a zookeeper hurried to the spot to see an animal biting the boy's neck, she told police. Now the boy, whose name hasn't been released, is being treated for injuries to his skull and scalp, police say. The wounds aren't life-threatening, hospital staff say, per THV11.

"Zoo staff are trained to use fire extinguishers to safely overwhelm potentially dangerous animals if an incident like this were to occur," an officer says. That's what they did "while other zoo staff lowered a ladder into the exhibit," he notes. "A zoo staffer then climbed into the exhibit and retrieved the child, who was conscious and responding." The boy's father also threw things at the animals, and one such throw prompted the biting animal to let the child go, per the police report. (Read more zoo stories.)

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