Makkah governorate stops Jeddah Spring Festival after a cub attacked a girl


Saudi Gazette

— The Deputy Emir of Makkah Province Prince Abdullah Bin Bandar ordered on Wednesday to stop the Jeddah Spring Festival after a cub attacked a girl. Both the organizer and the cub trainer are under investigation. In the video, widely circulated on social media, a large number of kids are seen playing with a cub inside the cage when suddenly the cub ran towards a girl and attacked her. The girl was reported to be safe and not injured.

The cub trainer Faisal Asiri explained on his page on Twitter that the cub is six months old with no claws. He added that the cub was attracted to the girl because of a butterfly-like hairclip she wore. He added that the girl is in good health.

Bandar Al-Faleh, the head of the licensing department at the Saudi Wildlife Authority, said they have warned against dealing with such animals as they are aggressive and attacking by nature. Thus the Saudi wildlife Authority did not license to import these animals or have them in festivals due to their danger.

Al-Faleh called on the public to inform the authority if they come to know of anyone who owns an attacking animal and they will take action against violators.

People on social media have reacted to the incident. Sara Al-Shehri said the lions would eat whatever in front of them even their trainer if they are hungry. “How could you leave kids with a cub, Thank God the girl is safe,” she added.

Hammad Al-Shammari noted that this is the responsibility of the organizers. He elaborated that what organizers did is arbitrary and carelessness especially that no safety measures were implemented.

Fawaz Al-Harthi thanked Prince Abdullah for the immediate action and questioned, “Until when will we see these animals roaming around in front of children, guided by untrained individuals and with no licenses.”

Aram Al-Otaibi, however, blames the parents who she said are reckless and irresponsible, “You allow your kids to go in a cage with a cub and then you blame the organizers! That is nonsense.”