A BOY was beaten to death by a lion after climbing into the beast’s enclosure.
Hamada Iqtiet, six, was visiting a private zoo in Gaza, Palestine, with his family on Monday when he was attacked by the big cat.
Horror images, which The Sun has not released, show the lion mauling the cub after apparently getting stuck between the bars of the cage.
Other chilling images showed bloodstains on the bars.
Police spokesman Colonel Ayman Al-Batniji said the lion pounced after the boy climbed through the protective fence at the Asdaa Park zoo in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.
But the boy’s family said the boy, who was walking with his mother and other family members, approached an outside fence where the lion was standing when he was attacked.
Cops have closed the park pending an investigation.
It is said to be the first time someone has been killed by animals kept in one of the region’s several private zoos.
The deadly attack sparked fresh calls for the closure as animals cannot be adequately cared for in the overcrowded and impoverished Palestinian territory.
The animals are believed to be kept in appalling conditions and have suffered from repeated fighting between Israel and Hamas rulers in Gaza, resulting in neglect, starvation and a lack of medical care.
Although animal protection groups have conducted several animal rescues, many still live in the strip, which is home to about two million people.
It comes after a zoo keeper was killed by a brown bear in Andijan, Uzbekistan.
The employee, known only as AG, allegedly failed to follow safety rules when entering the enclosure to feed the animal.
Meanwhile, another zoo keeper at a private zoo was fatally injured after sticking his hand through a fence to pet a tiger during feeding time.
Horrific footage of the attack showed the big cat lowering its claws into his hand and pulling his arm into his mouth.