MELAKA: A three-year-old boy who was badly bitten by a siamang (gibbon) on his right calf while visiting Melaka Zoo on Wednesday, is reported to be in stable condition.
The victim’s father, Kamarul Baharin Othman, 38, said his son Muhammad Afieq Haziq had to undergo a three-hour surgery from 9am yesterday at Melaka Hospial due to the injury which exposed his bone. He said the family had not been informed by the hospital of the number of stitches the boy, his sixth child, required for the wound.
“The incident happened at about 2.30pm yesterday as we were walking towards the zoo’s bird section when we saw several visitors running helter-skelter.
“Suddenly, a siamang leapt and bit the right calf of my son whom I was carrying,” he said when contacted, here, yesterday.
Kamarul said he reacted by pulling the siamang’s head but failed to dislodge it until another visitor came to their aid by kicking the animal on its stomach and it let go.
As it is the school holidays, the family from Klang, Selangor had gone to Melaka after attending the wedding of a relative in Semabok on Sunday.
It is understood that the siamang had escaped from its enclosure.
Melaka Zoo public relations officer Masri Mohd Arop said it was the first time that such an incident had occurred at the zoo.
He said the zoo authority was saddened by the incident and wished to apologise to the family, and was also prepared to offer assistance including bearing the cost of the boy’s treatment.
“The animal has been caught and quarantined. We are investigating the cause of the incident and will ensure that such an incident does not recur,” he said. — Bernama