Europe

Father saves three-year-old from bear in German zoo

Asiatic Black Bear (Photo: David Garshelis)
Image caption Asiatic black bears are found in the wild from Pakistan to Japan

A father has saved his three-year-old daughter from an Asian black bear after the girl climbed into the animal's enclosure in a German zoo, police say.

Both father and child were injured after the girl climbed over a fence in a private zoo in Luenebach, western Germany.

The bear hit the girl on the forehead before her father was able to snatch her away, police said.

The 34-year-old Dutch man was also attacked and his leg injured.

The girl had climbed the 1m (3ft) high fence while her parents were not watching and fell into a moat in the enclosure, a police spokeswoman said.

Her father then climbed after her.

Other visitors called an ambulance and the girl was flown to hospital by helicopter. Her father was also hospitalised.

'Extremely lucky'

But neither the man nor his daughter are in life-threatening condition, the spokeswoman said.

"Both of them were extremely lucky", she added.

She also said that police are investigating possible negligence by the parents or the zoo.

The 28-year-old bear made headlines three year ago when he attacked a keeper at the zoo and injured the man's arm.

Asiatic black bears, which are also known as moon bears because of a crescent-shaped white patch on their chests, are found throughout Asia, from Pakistan to Japan.

Their preferred habitat is usually hilly or mountainous forest areas, but deforestation for logging and the loss of land to development are threatening their numbers.

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