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Russian circus goes unpunished after leopard attacks girl

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Russian police said on Thursday they would not be charging the owners of a circus where a leopard mauled a small girl, as the law failed to provide adequately for such an event.

Russian police said on Thursday they would not be charging the owners of a circus where a leopard mauled a small girl, as the law failed to provide adequately for such an event.

The incident took place in Smolensk, a city some 400 km to the southwest of Moscow on July 8. The leopard bit the girl's thigh and scratched her shin before being restrained by circus staff.

"Russian law does not provide any clear description of how to act with regard to wild animals, including in a circus, and does not state any punishment for the owner of an animal that attacks a person," said Alexander Borovikov, a senior aide to the prosecutor for the Smolensk Region.

The circus accused the girl's parents of extortion after they attempted to gain compensation for the incident. Police have refused to open an investigation.

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