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Reptile lunched on Swedish girl’s finger

A 13-year-old girl had her fingertip badly bitten by a spectacled caiman at a wildlife park in eastern Sweden on Monday.

Reptile lunched on Swedish girl's finger

The girl, Elisa, was left needing stitches when the reptile lurched forward and snapped at her outstretched hand, Aftonbladet reports.

The girl was pointing something out to her older brother in Furuviken park’s new South America house when the crocodilian reptile attacked.

“I hardly remember anything, I was terrified,” Elisa told Aftonbladet.

Elisa’s brother told the newspaper that the family was shocked by the sight of the girl’s finger “covered in blood and in tatters”.

The girl was taken by ambulance to Gävle County Hospital. She was discharged on Monday evening with a heavily bandaged finger.

But head zookeeper Johnny Persson refused to blame Gorm, the 20-year-old spectacled caiman, for feasting on the visitor’s fingertip.

“The enclosure is surrounded by a fence that is 1.30 metres high. The girl bent down right over the fence and animals like that don’t like it when you point at them,” he told The Local.

Persson added that the park had plenty of staff in attendance but with a big holiday crowd in for the day, nobody spotted Elisa until it was too late.

“Obviously you shouldn’t lean over a fence near dangerous animals but we are now going to raise the height of the barrier and put up new signs,” he said.

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OFFBEAT

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim

Police on the island of Gotland removed a public sculpture from the Galgberget nature reserve near Visby on the grounds that it is just too creepy.

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim
The gallows at Galgeberget. Photo: Artifex/WikiCommons
According to local news site Hela Gotland, someone was out for a stroll on Galgeberget (the Gallows Hill) on Wednesday when they saw what they thought was a body hanging after a suicide. Local police were contacted but when they went to investigate they instead found a sculpture by artist Jessica Lundeberg. 
 
The artwork, entitled ‘The Watcher in the Woods’, is a partially transparent plate sculpture that looks like a spooky little girl. 
 
 
Despite discovering that the suspected suicide victim was actually artwork, police determined that Lundeberg’s piece could scare others and thus took the sculpture down. 
 
“It was decided that if it were to remain, more people would likely be frightened in the same way,” Gotland police spokesman Ayman Aboulaich told Radio P4 Gotland. 
 
Lundeberg told Hela Gotland that the sculpture has been at Galgeberget since a public art project last summer and that this was the first time it had caused any concern. She said ‘The Watcher in the Woods’ was the only piece that was allowed to remain after the end of the project. But now it is there no more. 
 
 
Lundeberg has taken the sculpture back to her studio. While she hopes it will eventually return to Galgeberget, the artist told Hela Gotland it seems unlikely.  
 
She said that the sculpture was damaged by police. 
 
“It was ragged, dismantled and broken. I was horrified when I saw it,” she said. 
 
Police have reportedly promised to pay any necessary repair costs.
 
Although the person who reported the sculpture to the police has not spoken with the media, their jump to conclusions could perhaps be attributed to the nature reserve’s macabre history. Galgeberget is still home to gallows that were used to hang criminals for centuries. The last execution to be held at the site was in 1845, according to Hela Gotland
 
 
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