Guy Attempts Suicide by Jumping in Lion Cage

Franco Luis Ferrada, 20, was critically injured
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 22, 2016 2:09 PM CDT
Guy Attempts Suicide by Jumping in Lion Cage
A lioness sits in her cage in a zoo.   (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Two lions were killed after they severely mauled a man who stripped naked and entered their enclosure in an apparent suicide attempt early Saturday in Chile, the AP reports. The man—identified by the Guardian as Franco Luis Ferrada, 20—was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and was said to be in grave condition. Director Alejandra Montalba of Santiago's Metropolitan Zoo told local media the park was crowded with visitors at the time of the incident. Ferrada broke into the enclosure, took off his clothes, and jumped into the middle, horrifying other visitors who witnessed the attack. The lions initially ignored Ferrada, but attacked when he taunted them.

Zookeepers first hosed down the lions, then fired tranquilizer darts at them but hit Ferrada in the neck instead, per the Guardian; Montalba says there were no tranquilizers handy. Either way, an employee ended the attack by opening fire and killing the two animals before the horrified crowd. "The zoo has an established protocol because people's lives are very important to us," says Montalba. Ferrada suffered injuries to his head and pelvis, and an apparent suicide note was found in the man's clothing, says a parks official. Witness reported he also made religious proclamations. Chilean officials describe the man as "frustrated," CNN reports. (Read more Chile stories.)

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