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Boy falls in lion pit at Boston zoo

BOSTON – A teenage boy visiting a zoo Wednesday fell into a lion pit that’s part of a set for the upcoming Kevin James and Adam Sandler movie The Zookeeper, but he wasn’t badly hurt.

No animals were in the area at the time of the accident at the Franklin Park Zoo, spokeswoman Brooke Wardrop said, and the movie crew wasn’t on the set.

The 16-year-old boy tumbled about 25 feet into the pit, where a net broke his fall, and his injuries weren’t considered life-threatening, said fire department spokesman Steve MacDonald.

The initial emergency call to firefighters was about a person who had fallen into a zoo’s lion pit, MacDonald said.

“You know, you start having these images of animals outside, but once the officials assured us that there were no animals at all, it pretty much became a standard extrication from a hole,” he said.

When firefighters arrived, there was a movie set medic with the boy, who was conscious and talking as emergency workers put him on a stretcher before taking him to a hospital.

The boy, MacDonald said, was in an area where he shouldn’t have been and wasn’t working for the movie, which features James, the former star of the CBS sitcom The King of Queens, as a zookeeper unlucky at love.

Zoo officials were investigating the afternoon incident, which occurred in an old gorilla exhibit known as the Lion’s Den for the movie.