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ANIMAL

Three injured in vicious dog attack

A two-year-old boy and two young adults were badly bitten by three dogs on Wednesday after an escaped French Mastiff tried to drag the child from a playground into the nearby woods in Mandal, southern Norway.

Three injured in vicious dog attack
The playground at Vangsveien in Mandal where the attack took place (Photo: Espen Sand/Scanpix)

Witnesses to the horrific attack said the French Mastiff jumped over a fence in a nearby garden before rushing towards the toddler, newspaper Fædrelandsvennen reports.

As the dog tried to haul the child away, a young woman – reported to be a family member – jumped on top of the boy to protect him.

“The child has a deep open wound on his back, while the woman has a deep open wound on her arm,” police spokeswoman Ingrid Mæhre told the newspaper after the attack.

The woman’s brother, a 17-year-old named as Ferdi Fezullah, said he ran over to intervene after hearing his sister’s frantic cries.

Just then, two more dogs – both reported to be a cross between a Doberman and a Rottweiler –  escaped from the same garden. One of the new arrivals bit the teenager on the back, arm and knee.

“The man was treated at the emergency ward in Mandal, while the two others were admitted to Sørlandet Hospital with nasty bite wounds,” Mæhre told news agency NTB.

The trio’s bloody ordeal ended when the owner of the dogs, a 23-year-old man, arrived at the scene and managed to pull the two most aggressive animals away. He was later arrested and charged with failing to control his animals. Police said he would be held for questioning on Thursday.

Ferdi Fezullah and his sister were in Mandal visiting family and do not speak Norwegian, Fædrelandsvennen said. After the attack, a neighbour called for medical help on their behalf.

The woman needed stitches in one of her arms and was kept at the hospital overnight. Family members were able to take the two-year-old boy home later in the evening. Ferdi Fezullah was also discharged on Wednesday evening.

The dogs were confiscated and will likely be put down, police said.

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ANIMAL

Escaped red panda to be home for Christmas

Adrian the red panda, who disappeared from Kristiansand's Animal Park recently, has been found safe and sound in a tree in a city suburb and will be home in time for Christmas.

Escaped red panda to be home for Christmas
A red panda similar Dyreparken's Adrian. Photo: Mathias Appel/Flickr

The arboreal mammal, who is slightly larger than a domestic cat, sparked a search when he escaped from Kristiansand's Dyrehaven last Thursday by climbing a tree near to the park's fence. Staff from the park have been out looking for the animal every day since.

Adrian was close to being recovered on Monday when a pedestrian reported spotting him cross the E18 highway in the vicinity of the park, according to a report by state broadcaster NRK.

However, despite a search being mobilized in the area, Adrian remained at large.

Then, on Tuesday night, a local veterinarian alerted the park to Adrian's having been spotted in the Lausen residential area, reports NRK.

This tip led Dyreparken staff to move their search to the neighborhood, where the furry red omnivore was eventually tracked down at the top of a tree.

It's great that he'll be home for Christmas,” zookeeper Helene Axelsen told NRK. “There's not an awful lot for pandas to eat in the Norwegian environment. The caller told us that he looked confused and was running around looking for food.

It's such a relief to get him home. Especially in good condition. He was really hungry and worn out, so it's good to see that he is [now] getting something to eat and is doing well given the circumstances,” Axelsen said.

The red panda weighs around five kilograms, making it much smaller than its black and white namesake. Its thick coat enables it to survive the Norwegian winter, on a usual diet of buds, insects and sometimes mice.

Adrian left a fellow red panda, Pandora, behind at Dyreparken during his five-day Kristiansand sojourn.