A nine-year-old boy was bitten by a wolf on a visit to the zoo in México state on Friday.
The child maneuvered past a railing and approached the metal fence of the wolves’ cage to pet one of the large canines in the Nezahualcóyotl zoo, just east of Mexico City’s Benito Juárez International Airport, before one of them bit him on the arm. The injury was serious and required surgery.
The zoo, run by the municipal government, closed its doors to the public after the incident but reopened on Sunday, with the wolf still in its enclosure. Many of the families visiting on Sunday were unaware of the incident, the newspaper El Universal reported.
The México state health ministry said it received reports of the incident at 4:30 p.m. on Friday and confirmed that the boy was in a stable condition on Saturday. His injuries were not life-threatening, health officials said, but after being taken initially to La Perla Hospital in Nezahualcóyotl he was transferred by air ambulance to a hospital in Zumpango, 55 kilometers north, due to the severity of his injuries.
The boy received reconstructive surgery on the arteries and veins of his arm and was able to move his fingers after a successful operation, Nezahualcóyotl Mayor Adolfo Cerqueda Rebollo confirmed.
The municipal government said it would help with the family’s medical costs. Cerqueda said he had arranged an evaluation for the boy with specialist surgeons to continue his recovery.
Meanwhile, Cerqueda said the wolf had been well-treated prior to the attack and that authorities were considering what to do with it.
“They did medical tests, and it is in optimal condition … We have received many queries as to what will happen to it, whether it will be put down or not,” he said.
Cerqueda added that the wolf’s fate would be decided by state authorities. The local government said it had spoken to the State Commission of Natural Parks and Fauna (Cepanaf) to review its security protocols.