Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo: A worker was mauled to death by a lioness that attacked him at a park in north central Saudi Arabia, a local newspaper reported.

The National Wildlife Centre in cooperation with security agencies were handling the incident that occurred Sunday at the park in the eastern part of Buraydah city in Al Qassim region, Okaz added. No details are yet available about the victim.

The official agencies had received an alert that wildlife creatures, including beast animals, had been shown at a private park in Buraydah in violation of the kingdom’s environment system, according to the report.

The National Wildlife Centre said that a team of specialists in conjunction with the security agencies were able to control the beasts that also included a lion and a wolf, in addition to several mammals, birds and reptiles. They were “neutralised” and transferred to a shelter affiliated to the centre.

The environment system in Saudi Arabia bans dealing in endangered animals including keeping and displaying them. Violations are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of SR30 million.

In April, Saudi authorities warned against illegal rearing of predators after a lion mauled its keeper to death in the capital Riyadh.

The illegal purchase of wild animals is believed to have thrived due to social media where they are marketed.