A four-year-old girl is in critical condition after a lioness ripped off her scalp at a lion farm in South Africa.

Her family was told not to stand too close to the fence when the lioness took a swiped for them.

Dina-Marie de Beer is being kept in a medically induced coma after being air lifted to hospital.

She reportedly had part of her skull removed to relieve pressure on her brain.

The family are said to have visited the Weltevrede Lion Farm in Heilbron on Sunday on their way home from a holiday so their daughter could pet a lion cub.

According to Netwerk24, Dina-Marie was being held in her dad’s arms when the lioness attacked them through the fence of neighboring site.

The lioness is said to have gone for Pieter, who only suffered minor injuries, before penetrating Dina-Marie’s skull with her claw.

A tour guide at the farm told the Independent the father and daughter ‘got a bit too close, the lion grabbed him through the fence’.

Farm manager Charlene van Wyk called the attack a ‘freak accident’ and said it was made clear visitors shouldn’t stand too close to the barrier.

Another man was reportedly attacked through a fence at the same site on Wednesday last week and got away with minor injuries.

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