A monkey has pulled a five-year-old boy’s finger off in a shocking attack at a Portuguese zoo.
The youngster was rushed to hospital after the incident at Santo Inacio Zoo in Vila Nova de Gaia near Porto.
The youngster was with his family and playing by the monkey’s cage on Friday morning, The Sun reports.
The monkey is said to have bitten the five-year-old’s finger and pulled it from the rest of his hand.
A police officer entered the cage to recover the missing finger before the boy was taken to Sao Joao Hospital.
A spokesman for the GNR police force in Porto confirmed the incident had occurred around 11am and said the monkey had ripped the boy’s finger off.
Specialists in child surgery and plastic surgery were said to be with the boy at Sao Joao Hospital on Friday afternoon.
It is not yet clear if medics have been able to reattach the boy’s finger.
Santo Inacio Zoo said in a statement zoo the incident occurred as the youngster was feeding the monkey peanuts “in a clear breach of safety measures in place to protect the public”.
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It said it was in constant contact with the family of the child who it described as being in a stable condition.
The statement went on: “The safety plans of zoological parks are created taking into account the risk category of the species, such as size, speed or bite, but also the type of installation where there are several warnings that alert visitors to the safety measures to be followed, namely not to feed or touch animals.”
“All plans implemented aim to ensure, at all times, the safety of keepers, animals and visitors.”
Santo Inacio Zoo is home to 600 animals including the Amur Tiger and Asian Lion.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, it welcomed approximately 1.5 million visitors a year.
The zoo only reopened on Tuesday after being closed for three months.
Zoo staff spoke last month about the behaviour of some of the 200 species of animals at the zoo had changed during the lockdown closure.
Vet Carla Monteiro admitted the animals were not getting enough interaction and were sleeping more because there were no visitors.
She said: “There is a change in attitude and behaviour that is noticeable in the transition phases, when we have visitors and we no longer have them, and when we start to have them again.”
An investigation into the incident is expected to be launched.
It comes after a pet dog was attacked and eaten by a pack of wolves after its owner accidentally dropped it in an enclosure at a Chinese zoo on Monday.
The horrific moment was captured on video footage, showing the hungry animals maul the defenceless pooch.
The incident took place on Monday at Wild Wolf Valley, near Changi in northern Xinjiang.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission