Lion severely mauls 2 caretakers at media facility in Japan

Lion severely mauls 2 caretakers at media facility in Japan
Two people have been attacked and seriously injured by a lion at a media facility in Japan after they entered the cage to clean up, local media reported. It’s not clear why the animal became aggressive.

The incident took place at the Shonan Animal Production facility in Chiba Prefecture, some 50km from Tokyo, the local emergency services said, as cited by Kyodo news. 

The company keeps animals for TV productions and film projects, according to the facility’s website.

It’s not yet clear what provoked the animal. The 10-year-old male was kept in a cage and was chained when the attack happened.

The animal suddenly became aggressive after three caretakers entered his cage and started washing it ahead of a photo shoot or filming, police reports said, as cited by local media.

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As a result, a 55-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man both received head and leg injuries. The third caretaker, a woman in her 20s, escaped without injury.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident.

“We will direct the company accordingly if a problem comes to light based on (animal rights) law,” said Hideki Maruyama, chief of Inba Health and Welfare Center's hygiene department.

The Shonan Animal Production website says the facility, which is about 12,000 sq meters, contains lions, zebras, camels, goats, monkeys, kangaroos and other animals.