Boy, 12, bitten by orang-utan at zoo


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 14 Jan 2003

BY SYLVIA LOOI

PENANG: Trespassing into the district veterinary clinic's mini zoo proved to be a painful lesson for a 12-year-old boy when he was attacked by Madu, the zoo's resident orang-utan.  

Goh Beng Hooi, who visited the zoo in Jalan Gudwara with four friends on Sunday, had to undergo an operation at the Penang Hospital after his left foot was bitten by Madu. 

In an interview from his hospital bed yesterday, Beng Hooi said: “The perimeter fencing surrounding the cage where the orang-utan was kept was not locked and I decided to go in and take a closer look. 

PAINFUL EXPERIENCE: Beng Hooi resting at the Penang Hospital on Sunday after being bitten by an orang utan. With him is his mother.

“However, the orang-utan suddenly grabbed hold of my left leg before sinking her teeth into my foot.”  

Beng Hooi added that the primate refused to let go of his bloodied foot and one of his friends had to hit her mouth with a stick to force her to free him. 

Beng Hooi's friends helped him to the main road. A good Samaritan then sent him to the hospital. 

IN CAPTIVITY: Madu was a gift to the district veterinary clinic from the Indonesia Government.

Beng Hooi's mother Kwek Im Choon, 50, said that due to serious bone injuries on his foot, an operation was conducted on Sunday night. 

“I hope the incident will be a lesson to all,” the seamstress said, thanking the person who sent her son to hospital.  

Earlier, Kampung Kolam assemblyman Lim Gim Soon inspected the fencing at the zoo after Beng Hooi's parents alerted him to the incident.  

Lim said the Veterinary Services Department should ensure that the fencing around the orang-utan cage was properly locked.  

“While it is commendable that the department maintain a zoo in the city, it should also ensure that dangerous animals are kept a safe distance from visitors,” he said, claiming that this was not the first incident that he had heard of. 

Madu, born on Christmas Day in 1978, was a gift from the Indonesian Government.  

Officials of the Veterinary Services Department could not be reached for comment. 

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