‘Tame’ tiger bites off child’s finger

2012-05-31 07:18

A father from Rustenburg in North West is considering legal action after a Bengal tiger bit off part of his child’s finger.

The tip of eight-year-old Karla Malan’s pinkie could not be found after a tiger nipped it off at the Predator’s Rock Bush Lodge, on a guided tour at the weekend.

The child’s father, Jacques Malan, told Beeld newspaper the 14-year-old daughter of Gert Blom, the lodge owner, had told them the animals were tame, and could be stroked through the wire fence.

Karla watched the tour guide stroking a tiger, then did the same, at which point the animal grabbed her hand.

“I got such a fright, my hand and fingers were full of blood. My dad shoved his hand into the tiger’s mouth to help me,” she said.

According to Jacques, as they drove to a nearby hospital, his daughter asked him if her finger “would be gone forever”.

Doctors later amputated another section of her damaged finger, to just beneath the middle joint.

Blom said his tigers were as tame as house cats, and the Malans should have seen signs posted in the vicinity warning visitors not to touch the animals.

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