Caiman in zoo bites the pointing finger

July 7, 2009 at 3:46 PM
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GAVLE, Sweden, July 7 (UPI) -- A teenage girl in Sweden learned the hard way some reptiles do not like to be pointed at -- especially when the hands are within biting range.

The girl was bitten Monday by a spectacled caiman, a close relative of alligators and crocodiles, at Furuviken Park in eastern Sweden several hours north of Stockholm, The Local reported. She got stitches and bandages at Gavle County Hospital.

The 13-year-old and her family were in the new South American exhibit at the park when she pointed at the spectacled caiman in an effort to show her brother something.

The brother told the Stockholm newspaper Aftonbladet the bite left his sister's finger "covered in blood and in tatters."

Jonny Persson, the head zookeeper, said the park will raise the fence around the enclosure inhabited by Gorm, the 20-year-old spectacled caiman. But he said Gorm was only doing what caimans do.

"The enclosure is surrounded by a fence that is 1.30 meters (almost 5 feet) high. The girl bent down right over the fence and animals like that don't like it when you point at them," he told The Local.

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