Saturday, August 03, 2002

13-year-old mauled by lion

The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, FL)
August 3, 2002 Saturday, City Edition

13-year-old mauled by lion is home
Kristen Moczynski, Times-Union staff

Brittany Regelski, the 13-year-old Jacksonville girl whose arm was mauled by a lion July 24 in Mexico, is home after additional surgery.

The 2-year-old declawed lion was raised in a cage behind a restaurant, the owner said. The vacationing teen was at the Cozumel tourist spot with family members and said she had been petting the lion when it clamped onto her finger and then her arm. Doctors in Mexico treated her with a little more than 300 stitches.

Brittany underwent further surgery on her finger Wednesday at Wolfson Children's Hospital and was released late Thursday, said her grandfather, Howard Reichbach.

'The doctors said it went very well and now it's just a wait-and-see thing,' Reichbach said.

He said Brittany will go through therapy and may eventually have cosmetic surgery.

The family thanked the hospital and area residents for their prayers and kindness.