An African lion cub was taken into custody by San Angelo’s animal control after injuring a woman at Sunset Mall on Sunday.
The 10-month-old animal was part of a special presentation, “Mystical Magic of the Endangered,” a nonprofit foundation based in Oklahoma that uses lions and tigers to teach children about endangered animals. Spectators at the mall were allowed to pet and interact with the animals.
City spokeswoman Maryann Vasquez said police were called after the animal allegedly scratched the woman. Animal control was also alerted about the incident.
Vasquez said she could not identify the woman who was injured or specify the extent of the injuries. The cub’s owner, Joe Exotic of “Mystical Magic of the Endangered,” said he believes the animal did not mean to injure the woman and was likely playing when the incident occurred.
“It’s just a shame,” he said. “Out of the 20,000 people that enjoyed the animals, there was one person that ruined it for everyone.”
Animal control initially picked up the animal but it was later released to its owners as part of a 30-day quarantine agreement. The animal will be kept at a veterinarian facility in the Panhandle town of Ford.
“We feel that we’ve got a win-win situation for everyone,” Vasquez said.