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`LIGER' SHOT AND KILLED AFTER MAULING GIRL WHO PUT HAND INSIDE CAGE

A lion-tiger hybrid mauled an 11-year-old girl who put her hand inside the 400-pound cat's cage on Sunday, stubbornly locking its jaws on her arm until its owner shot it dead.

Katie Leamy of Corbett underwent surgery to repair extensive muscle damage and was expected to regain full use of her arm and hand.She tried to pet the cat during a morning visit with her parents, Pat and Becky, to family friend Ed Winebarger, who kept the hybrid known as a liger in a large cage.

"Katie reached in to pet the cat and the cat grabbed her arm just like a small dog grabs a rope," Mrs. Leamy said. "It was pulling and she was pulling and screaming."

The girl's father reached in but was unable to free her, so Winebarger shot the cat once in the head, killing it instantly.