WICHITA, Kan. — A first-grader on a school field trip to a zoo was mauled by a leopard Friday after the boy scaled a railing and approached the animal's cage, a zoo spokesman said.
The Wichita Eagle reported that the boy suffered cuts to his head and neck after the cat stuck a paw through its cage and grabbed the boy. He was hospitalized in fair condition.
Jim Marlett, spokesman for the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, said the boy climbed the 4- to 5-foot railing surrounding the leopard exhibit, crossed an 8-foot gap and stood next to the metal mesh fence of the animal's cage.
The boy began screaming as soon as the leopard grabbed him. A man and woman nearby jumped over the railing and ran to help him, Robinson said.
The cat let loose of the boy when the man kicked it in the head, Robinson said. Bystanders wrapped the boy's head in shirts and towels to stop the bleeding as he lay on the ground between the fence and leopard cage.
A Wichita School District spokeswoman said counselors were sent to the zoo to talk with children who saw the attack.