A tiger tore off the thumb of a one-year-old boy leaving "blood bursting" from the wound after his mother held him too close to the Russian Safari park's big cat enclosure.
Anastasia G, 22, claimed the tiger gave no warning before it mounted the barrier to attack her 14-month-old son Leon. on September 27.
Witnesses claimed the beast reached over a barrier to claw at the child. leaving the little boy's left thumb 'completely detached.'
Leon was rushed to a nurse at Taigan safari park's first aid point, and an ambulance took the boy to hospital in Simferopol, Crimea.
However, his thumb was not reattacked as they couldn't retrieve it from the beast.
"I took Leon into my arms," she said.
"We were standing behind the fence, and there is a distance of about 30cm (1ft) between the fence and the net that separates visitors and animals.
"Everything was perfect – until I suddenly realised there was blood bursting, and my son had lost his thumb."
"I didn’t hear any sounds like a roar, or anything to alert me to danger.
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"Other visitors who saw it said that a tiger jumped from somewhere above, and pulled my son’s arm with one of its claws."
"My boy was yelling, crying, screaming. I was in such shock I couldn’t think. I ran to get help with him in my arms."
The mum claimed the bars of the enclosure had a gap allowing the big cat to poke its paw outside.
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However, law enforcement sources suggested the mother had gone beyond a safety barrier – which she denies – and that the tiger bit not clawed her son’s thumb.
The Taigan safari park in Crimea, occupied by Russia from Ukraine since 2014, has not commented on the incident. The park is run by legendary lion whisperer Oleg Zubkov, who allows some visitors to "safely" mingle with untethered big cats.
He is regarded by his fans as an animal genius with mysterious powers and he has been featured by the media around the world.
The mother intends to make a claim against the park for negligence in providing safety.
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