Michigan woman: Lion at zoo bit off part of finger

EAST TAWAS, Mich. (AP) — State police are investigating a woman's report that a lion bit off part of her finger at a small private zoo in northern Michigan.

Renae Ferguson tells WNEM-TV (http://bit.ly/1rMhH2j ) that the big cat "ripped" her finger as she tried to pet it Saturday at Sunrise Side Exotics and Nature Trail in East Tawas, about 130 miles north of Detroit.

Lt. Melvin Mathews tells The Associated Press that authorities are investigating.

Ferguson and her daughter Tina Dobson say they were visiting the zoo and an employee allowed them to go into the lion's cage.

The zoo's owners tell WNEM in an email that "the lady went into the security area and was told by the guide to get back."

AP left messages Thursday seeking comment from the zoo's owners.

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Information from: WNEM-TV, http://www.wnem.com