Capybara bites two children at Gunma Wildlife Park, northwest of Tokyo

A capybara at a wildlife park in Gunma prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, bit two young children and seriously injured one of them.

Gunma Safari Park officials say a one-year-old boy was knocked from behind and had his back bitten by a capybara on September 25. The child was playing in a section where visitors can have direct contact with the capybaras.

Officials say two days later a six-year-old girl had her head and neck bitten off by what is believed to be the same female capybara that had bitten the boy.

The girl would have had nine stitches on the back of her neck. The wounds should take two weeks to heal.

After the first incident, the park put up a sign warning children about capybaras and had guards on constant alert in the capybaras section.

Officials say, however, that the second incident occurred when guards were working about 20 yards from where visitors were with capybaras.

The park has placed makeshift fences to separate animals and children. She plans to replace them with stronger ones to prevent children from having direct contact with the capybaras.

Park warden Kitamura Shoji apologized to the victims for their injuries. He said he expects the partitions to keep visitors safe.

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