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Boy attacked by lynx at zoo

NORMAN, Okla. – A 3-year-old boy suffered superficial wounds when a 45-pound European lynx clawed him through a chain-link fence at a zoo, the zoo’s director said Tuesday.

The boy was looking at swans at the Little River Zoo on Monday when he left the path and went under a rope barrier, over a low retaining wall and up to the fence surrounding the cat’s enclosure, zoo director Janet Schmid said. The cat was able to get its paw through the chain link.

The boy, who hasn’t been identified, was scratched on the side of his head but wasn’t seriously injured, Schmid said.

“Before he went to the hospital, the bleeding had already stopped and the emergency medical technician said he could be treated right there at the zoo but the father asked that he be taken to the hospital,” she said.

The cat’s outside enclosure, which is not part of the regular exhibits at the zoo, has a fenced-in top.

The zoo placed the lynx in an inside enclosure and built a solid fence to keep the public away from the outside area.

Schmid said the facility complies with all applicable federal regulations.

Schmid said the lynx, which is between 2 and 3 years old and has been at the zoo since birth, will be kept inside for 10 days while it is observed by a veterinarian.