Missing Nebraska boy, 3, found safe in stuffed animal claw machine

LINCOLN, Neb. - VIDEO: Boy found in claw machine

A 3-year-old Nebraska boy is now safe after somehow crawling his way into a stuffed animal claw machine at a bowling alley across the street from his family's apartment Monday night.

WOWT in Ohama, Neb. reports the boy's 24-year-old mother called police, telling them her son got out of an unlocked door in their Lincoln-area apartment while she was in the bathroom. Somehow he got to the bowling alley.

KMTV points out 3-year-old Kael Ireland was able to somehow make his way through the machine's small opening in front where prizes are dispensed and crawl up inside to play with some of the toys.

Some witnesses got cellphone video before the machine's vendor was able to get the key to free the boy.

The vendor told KOLN it's difficult for kids to pull off what Kael was able to do Monday night.

"The cranes are built so that kids can't get in there and steal items. ... He wasn't hurt, and the parents were glad we got him out of there," said Jim Lakey of VVS Canteen.

Employees at the bowling alley say they've never dealt with a situation like this before, but it has happened in other vending machines.

Back in August, a video that went viral on YouTube shows a crowd of people gathering around the machine as a young boy was stuck inside. Employees at the bowling alley quickly unlocked the door and let the boy out.

And in 2012, The Huffington Post reported a 3-year-old boy in Australia wound up in a vending machine and started handing out stuffed animals to strangers nearby. He also made it out safely.

Kael was not hurt in Monday's incident. The vendor gave him a stuffed animal from the machine to take home.

As for Kael's mother, police say she won't be cited because they don't suspect neglect in this case.

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