Footage capturing a lion attacking a young Saudi girl at an event held in Jeddah sparked outrage on the kingdom's Twitter late on Wednesday.
In the now-viral video, tens of children are seen playing with the animal in a cage after being allowed to enter it by the trainer. Seconds later the lion is seen attacking the girl as people screamed in horror.
Though the child managed to miraculously escape the attack unharmed, the incident left people on social media upset, with many calling on authorities to take action against the event's organizer, accusing him of neglecting the children's safety.
The organizer of the event and lion trainer have both been arrested
Amid the intense backlash, the Governor of Mecca, Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdel Aziz, ordered the arrest of the event's organizer and the lion's trainer.
Both have now been detained and referred for investigation.
Before the arrest, the animal's trainer, Faisal Ossairy, defended himself saying the creature involved in the attack is a 6-month old cub who was trained to be around humans.
"He spotted a butterfly clip that was on the girl's hair and was just trying to get it when he attacked her. She was unharmed in the incident and visited the animal again after the attack took place," he added.
Ossairy also explained that the animal's nails were removed to ensure the safety of children.
The horrific attack continues to make the rounds online
People are outraged by it
"Children in a cage with a lion, where has this happened before?! This poor girl will never forget the accident and it'll certainly affect her. Your understanding of entertainment is so messed up."
Many hit back at the trainer's explanations
"He's saying the lion had his nails removed and the girl was unharmed. A lion's paw can bring down a body that weighs fifty-five kilos, what'll happen when he attacks a child."
"Look at the level of regression here, kids are put in a cage with a lion"
"People are insane, they're playing with a lion as if he were a cat"
"We're in 2018 and we still can't properly organize anything"
"It's not important to do things just for the sake of doing them, we must look at the consequences of events before we organize them."
Many raised this important point
"I call on authorities to ban and cancel any event that uses animals for entertainment. They weren't created to entertain you, let alone be tortured to learn how to be obedient. Concerned officials must take action."
"You put a wild animal in this environment and don't want him to attack anyone!"
"This animal's place isn't here. We must have more awareness when it comes to the welfare of these creatures."
Some hailed authorities for taking action
"God bless Mecca's governor for taking action."
Others thought it was too late for that
"Everyone waits for something to trend on Twitter before they take action."