Two incidents involving humans entering lion exhibits at zoos in India & Chile led to lions being shot

Last week in India at the Nehur Zoo Park, a visitor, who was allegedly drunk, was arrested after he was caught on camera trespassing into a lion exhibit. According to The Hindu, the 35-year-old man entered the exhibit that was located more than 12 feet below ground level. He approached the lions and put his hand out towards the lions in an attempt to try to shake the lion’s paw.


“He was lucky, as the lions are usually wary of water. Given that these cats are human reared, they are tamer than wild cats and do not see humans as prey. Had it been the tiger’s moat, Mukesh would have become fodder,” said one of the zoo staff.

A crowd of visitors were shouting at the man in an attempt to get him to safety. Zoo officials eventually lowered a long pole for him to climb from while urging him to swim away from the lions.

“Mukesh was lucky that he got away. He was completely drunk when he jumped in,” a zoo official said. Thankfully, no one, including the lions were injured during this incident. The man, however, was charged under India’s Wildlife Protection Act.

A far graver incident occurred at a Chilean Zoo, after a man stripped naked and entered the lion enclosure; he survived but two lions, a male and female, were killed by zoo keepers.

Authorities in Santiago confirmed that the two African lions were shot and killed as they severely mauled the 20-year-old man who had broken into their cage on Saturday. Franco Luis Ferrada Roman, was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and initially reported to be in grave condition.

The young man broke into the enclosure, took off his clothes and jumped into the middle, horrifying other visitors who witnessed the attack. Once inside, the lions immediately pounced on him and began to play with him.

Zoo keepers intervened in the attack and shot the two lions in order to save the man’s life. The director of the zoo, Alejandra Montalva, stated “We believe that this person entered as a visitor and paid for his ticket. She told local media the park was crowded with visitors at the time of the incident. He trespassed into an area where the public are not normally allowed and we understand that he forced the roof of the lion’s enclosure.

One witness, Cynthia Vasquez, told Chilean radio station Bio Bio that the security personnel at the zoo were slow to react and that the animals did not attack the man as soon as he entered the enclosure. “He entered the enclosure from above and the lions started to play with him, and then after they attacked him.” Vasquez criticized the actions of the security personnel, saying “first they threw water, evacuated the people and only later did they fire shots.” Montalva added that there were no fast-acting tranquilizers available to stop the lions from mauling the man and she was deeply affected by the deaths of the two lions.

According to the news channel, a suicide note that was found inside his clothes made allusions to the apocalypse as being a reason for his attempt to take his life. Metropolitan Park director Mauricio Fabry confirmed that a note, which appeared to be a suicide note, was found in his clothing. By Saturday evening, Roman was no longer in a life-threatening condition.

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