A bear in Palestine’s Qalqilia Zoo tore off a schoolboy’s arm when, according to police, the nine-year-old scaled a steel barrier to feed the animal.
Waqas Al Sayfi, from the village of Kofr Aboush, near Tulkarem, was on a field trip to the zoo.
The incident sparked hysteria as zoo keepers rushed to the scene and dragged the child to safety.
However, they were unable to prevent Waqas from losing his arm from the shoulder.
Further scheduled school visits to the zoo have been halted for the time being.
Palestinian police sealed off the area and launched an investigation into the incident, which has horrified the schools that organise daily trips to the zoo.
This incident has caused controversy over who is to blame: the boy himself, the organisers of the trip, or the zoo.
The boy’s family said that at the moment their only concern was for the recovery of Waqas and they would wait for recommendations by the several groups commissioned to investigate the incident.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education has temporarily suspended school visits to the zoo, while officials have launched an investigation to evaluate its safety measures.
Qalqilia Governor Rafie Rawajbah said Waqas was getting the best possible medical care and would be transferred to an Israeli hospital if necessary.
He said additional safety measures would soon be implemented at the zoo — the only one in the northern areas of the Occupied West Bank