Lauren Fagen, 18, of Montreal, was mauled by a captive lion while volunteering at Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre in South Africa.
Credits: FACEBOOK PHOTO
Lauren Fagen, 18, was mauled by Duma, a captive male lion at the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre in Limpopo province, while she was near its cage Monday, South African's Beeld newspaper reported Wednesday.
The lion grabbed Fagen's right leg with his paw, bit her and pulled her other leg inside the enclosure.
"I could not believe what was happening, especially since moments before he was friendly with his head and body pressed against the bars, as though he wanted me to rub him," Fagen told the newspaper Tuesday.
Nearby staff members beat the lion with a stick until the animal let go.
She was rushed to a nearby hospital where she is expected to recover.
Photos on Fagen's Facebook last month show her walking with baby lions at the centre.
Staff with the wildlife centre said all volunteers are warned to be extremely careful around the animals. The lion will not be punished.