Individual treated for 'exotic animal' bite at Mater Dei Hospital this month

Health Minister Chris Fearne tells parliament an individual was treated for minor injuries at hospital after being bitten by an 'exotic animal', believed to be a tiger

An individual sustained minor injuries after being bitten by an exotic animal, believed to be a tiger
An individual sustained minor injuries after being bitten by an exotic animal, believed to be a tiger

Health Minister Chris Fearne has disclosed in parliament that during the month of November, an "exotic animal" bit an individual, who suffered minor injuries.

The individual was treated at Mater Dei Hospital but no further details were given.

MaltaToday understands that the animal was a tiger resident in one of the zoos.

Fearne was replying to a parliamentary question by Nationalist MP Mario Galea, an avid animal rights advocate, who asked whether anybody had been treated at hospital after being bitten by a tiger.

Galea has been vociferous against the captivity of exotic animals in Malta and earlier this month, personally called for a boycott of zoos and urged government to introduce tougher rules for zoos.

The police told MaltaToday last week that they received no formal report regarding an incident involving an exotic animal.

In 2020, government proposed the prohibition of big-cat cub petting at zoos in a White Paper, but relinquished it just 24 hours later following outrage by zookeeper and known Labour adherent Anton Cutajar.

Last week, Animal Rights Minister Anton Refalo confirmed that an impact assessment over amendments to the zoos regulations in Malta is being carried out and will be presented in the coming weeks.