Bronx Zoo Jumper Survives Tiger Mauling

Victim, apparently suicidal, leaped into den from monorail
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2012 6:58 AM CDT
In this 2010 photo, three Amur tiger cubs rest by a fallen tree limb at the Tiger Mountain exhibit at the Bronx Zoo in New York.   (AP Photo/WCS, Julie Larsen Maher, File)
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(Newser) – Bronx Zoo officials say they won't euthanize a tiger that mauled an apparently suicidal visitor yesterday. The 25-year-old victim survived, though the Daily News says he might lose one of his legs. He horrified fellow riders on the zoo's monorail when he jumped off the ride and into the tigers' den. There, a 400-pound male Siberian tiger mauled him until zookeepers moved the animal away with a fire extinguisher, reports AP. The man then rolled under an electrified wire to safety.

"The tiger did nothing wrong," said the zoo's director. "When someone is determined to do something harmful to themselves it's very hard to stop that." The New York Post and others have identified the victim as David Villalobos and note that his Facebook page shows that he's an animal lover. In fact, he posted a photo of a mother tiger licking its baby this week. Villalobos was in stable condition this morning. (Read more Bronx Zoo stories.)

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