A terrified three-year-old girl’s arm was torn off by a wild black jaguar after she apparently tried to pet it through the bars of its cage.
The horrifying attack happened when the girl, not named by local media, was visiting a ranch in Namiquipa, Chihuahua State, Mexico, on 7th November.
The big cat was being kept apparently as a pet in a tiny cage measuring just 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) long by 4.5 metres (14.7 feet) wide, say state justice officials.
Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office told on 14th November how surgeons had been forced to amputate the remains of the arm in an emergency op after the attack.
Hospital medics describe the girl’s condition as serious.
Wildlife officials have since raided the El Toro ranch and seized the jaguar, which is now being cared for at the Serengeti Zoo in San Jose de Gracia.
The Attorney General’s Office told local media: “During the site inspection, various irregularities and non-optimal conditions for workers were observed, for which the corresponding report was prepared.”
Prosecutors say they are investigating who is responsible for the mauling.
Black jaguars are a rare breed, making up just six per cent of all jaguars across North and Central America.
The big cat is notoriously aggressive and rarely backs down from confrontations often attacking with great speed and explosive force.
Illegally captured big cats are often kept by drugs cartel leaders in Mexico to show off their wealth and power.