Bear bites off boy’s arm at Palestinian zoo

Nine-year-old on school trip apparently crossed security barrier to feed bear, which ripped arm off from elbow

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

A boy looks at a bear at the Qalqilya Zoo. (YouTube screenshot)
A boy looks at a bear at the Qalqilya Zoo. (YouTube screenshot)

A nine-year-old Palestinian boy on a school trip to the West Bank’s only municipal zoo had his arm bitten off on Tuesday by a bear that he had apparently tried to feed.

A Palestinian police spokesperson told the Ma’an news service that the child, from the Tulkarem area of the West Bank, had crossed a security fence to get to the bear’s cage at the Qalqilya Zoo.

The boy, whose arm was severed from the elbow, was rushed to Qalqilya Hospital, and from there to the An-Najah National University Hospital in Nablus.

The UK’s Daily Mail reported that the animal had eaten the severed limb.

The Palestinian Ministry of Local Governance has closed the zoo until further notice and has set up a committee to investigate the incident and deliver its findings within a week, Ma’an reported.

It was not immediately clear if any action was taken against the bear.

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