A number of zoo visitors were shocked to witness a group of bears attacking and eating a wolf after it fell into the water while playing with its pack.

The incident, which took place inside the Dierenrijk Zoo in Mierlo, Netherlands, was captured via mobile camera by one of the onlookers.

Warning: The following video might be disturbing for some readers.

In the video, three of a group of four bears are seen biting the wolf, which had fallen into a water body, and dragging it further into the water, while the fourth bear stood on land observing the scene and warding off two other wolves which tried desperately to save the third member of its pack.

While the scene initially appeared as if the bears were playing with the wolf, it soon transformed into a gruesome situation. Many of the visitors, which included children, were heard gasping loudly in the backdrop as bears started mauling the two-year-old female wolf to death. One of the children was heard screaming “stop!” repeatedly.

While the two other wolves frantically jumped around the bears, in an attempt to rescue their trapped member, they were frequently chased off by the ferocious attackers. Even though at one point one of the wolves was seen running off and fetching an additional member of their pack, they were unable to prevent the bears from killing it.

“I did not notice what was happening until I started filming,” the unnamed visitor who recorded the footage told Mail Online. “Fifteen minutes before we had been looking at the bears and took a nice picture of one sitting on the bench right in front of the window.”

“Then we saw the wolves running wildly towards the water. The bears were already in there with one of the wolves. At first, we thought they were playing until we saw the wolf's head. Then we took our baby away,” the visitor added.

The visitor said while the caretaker of the zoo arrived at the scene five minutes after the bears began attacking the wolf, and said “they were trying to lure away the bears,” they were unable to rescue the animal as “the wolf was just in front of the window with his guts out.”

The company which owned the zoo told local news media that the "one-off incident” was "incredibly unfortunate.” Apparently, the zoo’s decision to keep bears and wolves in the same enclosure was to promote “harmony” between the two species and attempt to challenge them to play together.

The zoo confirmed that the two animal types had co-existed inside the zoo – which they believe is “good” for them – for years without harming each other and they will not be separating the animals following the rare instance. Many European zoos follow the practice of keeping bears and wolves in the same enclosed space.