An 11-year-old boy is seriously injured after he was mauled by a ‘tame’ lion in the kitchen of a farmhouse in South Africa.
Kristian Prinsloo was visiting a family friend, who hand-rears lions, with his grandmother Mari Strydom, 75, near Ellisras.
Witnesses said a lion left its usually locked cage on the farm and attacked him from the back.
Kristian’s heroic grandmother pulled the big cat from him, saving his life.
He was taken to a local hospital before he was transferred to Pretoria.
Father Herman Prinsloo, 47, told the Telegraph: ‘Kristian is in a very critical condition.
‘At the moment there is no brain activity. We ask that everyone please keeps praying to God that Kristian’s starts to function again and that he makes a full recovery.’
Kristian suffered injuries on his neck and back and his vertibrae was also damaged.
He was visiting his grandmother during the holidays and visited the farm before.
Mr Prinsloo said the farm is usually careful about opening and closing the cages where the three lions live.
Cordelia Britton, of animal charity Four Paws UK, said: ‘This is obviously a very tragic case and our thoughts are with the boy and his family. We hope he makes a full recovery.
‘Sadly this is further evidence, if any was needed, that wild animals such as lions should not be kept in domestic environments and can never truly be “tamed” and remain unpredictable.
‘Not only does this sort of habitat significantly impact the animal’s welfare, it can be very dangerous for humans in the vicinity, as this unfortunate incident demonstrates.’