A lion attacked a five-year-old Saudi girl during the Jeddah Spring Festival after cornering her inside a cage full of panicked children.
The lion’s trainer, Faisal Assiry, told Al Arabiya that the animal was attracted by the girl’s yellow butterfly hairclip, and did not bite her or harm her in any way like some people thought after watching the video.
The video shows many panicked children running from the lion inside the cage.
Assiry added that the children were playing with the animal in his cage in a ‘friendly environment’, when the lion saw the yellow butterfly accessory and attempted to get it.
He pointed out that the Lion is still a cub, and is only five months old. He said that the cub’s claws were removed before the entertainment segment so as not to hurt the children, and that the screaming of the audience is what caused the girl and audience to panic.
"The girl got up straight away and is in good health,” he said. “The person who took the video did not record everything. The girl, her father and her brothers visited the lion again on the same day and the next day, and they played with a little tiger and other animals afterwards," he added.
The video was picked up by several social media users where activists and Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the deputy Emir of Mecca, called on authorities to take the necessary steps and investigate the incident to hold those responsible accountable.