A three-year-old boy lost his right hand in an attack by a bear that his family has kept captive as a pet for years on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday.
The bear weighing more than 100 kilograms was electrocuted to death so the baby’s hand could be retrieved, but local doctors could not reattach it.
It is not clear who killed the bear.
The boy's grandmother said he was playing near the bear’s cage with her at their home in Hoc Mon District, when the animal bit his arm and tried to pull him into the cage.
The grandmother cried for help while attempting to get him out of the animal’s grip.
A man who lived next door rushed to the site, managing to release the boy, but his hand was bitten off during the process.
Police are investing the case.
The cage of a captive bear that attacked a three-year-old boy in Hoc Mon District, Ho Chi Minh City on January 11. Photo credit: VnExpress
Similar bear attacks on children have been reported in Vietnam in recent years.
Last April a 28-month old boy lost his forearm after being assaulted by a bear kept in captivity at his home in the northern resort town of Ha Long.
In another attack in the northern province of Phu Tho in September 2013, a five-year-old boy lost both his arms.
The Vietnamese government outlawed bear bile extraction in 1992, but people are still allowed to keep the animals as pets.
The number of bears held in captivity has recently fallen below 2,000 for the first time, according to figures compiled by Animals Asia, a Hong Kong-based animal welfare group which runs a US$2-million bear rescue center in northern Vietnam.