A three-year old boy is facing plastic surgery after his face was mauled by a ‘friendly’ tiger yesterday who was outside its cage being walked by two zoo keepers because it was feeling unwell.
The boy, who suffered serious injuries, reportedly ran towards to tiger who was lying on the ground outside of his cage at the Montekristo animal park, which is located in the Malta’s Hal-Farrug district.
According to witnesses, the boy approached the tiger which then wrapped its paws around the toddler as if play-fighting.
Officials at the zoo said the tiger hit the boy with her claw as she wrapped her paws around him and insist that at no point did the tiger bite him.
The toddler, who was visiting the park with a 56-year-old man and other relatives, was rushed to hospital following the attack. Hospital sources quoted in Maltese media said the boy suffered lacerations to his face and head, and was due to undergo an emergency operation, and will ‘probably need plastic surgery’.