|Circus Lions Devour Brazilian Boy|
|SAO PAULO, April 10 (Reuters) - Five circus lions devoured a 6-year-old Brazilian boy after one snatched him from his father's hand and dragged him into the cage in a tent full of spectators, news reports said on Monday. |
Police wounded two people with bullet fragments in the ensuing pandemonium as they sprayed the top of the cage with machine-gun fire to scare the lions off the boy's body.
The father and his two children were touring the cages during the intermission of the Vostok Circus in the northeastern city of Recife, 1,600 miles (2,600 km) northeast of Sao Paulo, on Sunday night.
"He grabbed my son with his paws and pulled him into the cage, and when I looked up he was in the lion's mouth," the boy's father told TV Globo.
Witnesses said the lion lurched through the bars, pulled the boy in, clamped its jaws on his head and shook him violently. Then, the other lions attacked.
It took police more than four hours to recover the torn body from the cage. Four of the five lions were shot to death.
Inspectors told Globo that the circus had breached safety regulations by allowing the public to walk right up to the cages.
A circus worker, who did not want to reveal his identity, told Globo the lions had not been fed since Thursday.