Lions maul showoff teenager

Col Man
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Lions have mauled a South African teenager who came too close to their enclosure while trying to impress his girlfriend in the breeding section of a park, the park manager says.

"He was very lucky," Frank Wessels told Reuters on Tuesday. "He has some deep cuts and lacerations. He was taken to hospital, but it sounds like he's soon to be released."

Sixteen-year-old Dane Kieser, his girlfriend and his mother were having lunch with the lionkeeper when he ignored advice and went off with his girlfriend to see the lions in the breeding section of the park just north of Johannesburg, he said.

The boy went into an area off-limits to the public and touched a lion through the mesh fence, Wessels said.

The lion quickly sank its teeth into his arm and dragged him under the fence before the curator came, drove the four adult lions in the enclosure away and rescued the teenager, he said.

"We've never had an incident like this before," Wessels said, adding that the animals were behind additional electric fences in the areas the public could approach on foot. "We've only had some small scratches."
Col Man
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