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6-year-old Palestinian child mauled to death by lion in Gaza zoo

May 2, 2023 at 4:30 pm

Palestinian boy Hamada Nidal Eqtaiet tragically died after being attacked by a lion at the animal zoo of Asda’ theme park in the southern Gaza Strip [@QudsNen/Twitter]

A six-year-old Palestinian boy was mauled to death by a lion in a private zoo in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip.

According to Ayman Al-Batniji, a police spokesperson, Hamada Eqtaiet had climbed the fence in the zoo until he reached an opening in the cage where the lion attacked him. An investigation is now underway, Al-Batniji said.

The boy’s family has, however, refuted the account of events, claiming Hamada, who was visiting the Asdaa Park with his mother and other family members, was attacked by the lion after having only reached an outer fence.

The incident was the first known fatality from animals kept at private zoos in the crowded and impoverished Palestinian territory.

As Palestinians living in the besieged Gaza Strip struggle to survive, the rising population and environmental damage caused by Israel’s wars on the enclave have meant many animal species native to the area are also fighting for life.

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