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Montreal teen attacked by lion in South Africa

Lauren Fagen, 18, of Montreal, was mauled by a captive lion while volunteering at Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre in South Africa.

Credits: FACEBOOK PHOTO

QMI AGENCY

A Montreal teen is recovering in hospital after she was attacked by a lion at a South African wildlife centre where she was volunteering for the summer, local media reports.

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.

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