A woman is in hospital after being attacked by a full-grown pet lioness that broke free and killed a dog.
Lila Hernandez, 40, was pounced on by the beast and is now in a critical condition after the two-year-old lioness called Salome attacked her.
Lion Escaped During a Break-In
The lioness measures around two metres (6.6 ft) in length, and escaped from its owner's house in Cumbres III, Mexico, following an alleged break-in, as reported by Daily Star.
The escaped big cat reportedly attacked several animals in the area, killing at least one dog and savaging Hernandez on the street at 9.30am on Tuesday (January 31). Hernandez was rushed to the hospital immediately after the attack and is currently in critical condition at the Hospital Miguel Hidalgo.
Owner Refuses to Hand Lion to Authorities
The lioness was eventually caught by its owner who kept the big exotic cat inside a vehicle and refused to hand it over to the authorities. The owner, identified only as Giovanni in local media, said he had all the necessary permits to keep the African lioness at his home.
He also said his house had been inspected and approved by the relevant authorities as being suitable for the big cat. Giovanni claimed the animal escaped after thieves forced a door open. Despite his protestations, the police called the State Attorney for Environmental Protection and representatives transferred the animal to the nearby Rodolfo Landeros Park.
Giovanni has since agreed to co-operate with the authorities about permanently relocating the lioness to a more suitable environment, according to reports. He also promised to cover Lila's medical expenses and compensate the family of the dog killed in the attack.