A cheetah performing with a traveling circus in the Moscow region town of Domodedovo attacked the 7-year-old son of two circus performers over the weekend, after which the boy was hospitalized in critical condition.
As of midday Sunday, the young victim had been transported to a Moscow hospital and remained in intensive care, RIA-Novosti reported. The cheetah severed an artery in the boy's neck, damaged several internal organs and wounded his spinal cord.
Doctors have operated on the boy once and may do so again.
The attack took place Saturday evening, when circus staff were readying the agile predator for transportation, Interfax reported, adding that the 10-year-old female cheetah pounced on the boy before the animal could be restrained.
The same day, investigators said in a statement on their website that they would run a check into the incident to discover whether those responsible for the animal and the safety of its handlers had acted appropriately.
It was not immediately clear which circus the cheetah belonged to, and some news reports said a leopard had attacked the boy.