Man Strips Naked and Jumps Into Lion Cage . . . Zoo Kills Two Lions To Rescue Him

300px-Daniel_in_the_Lion's_Den_c1615_Peter_Paul_RubensDaniel in the Lion’s Den by Peter Paul Rubens is a painting that has inspired millions in capturing the moment of faith dedicated in the Bible. The same cannot be said about the scene this week in Santiago, Chile where a man stripped naked and jumped into the lion enclosure at the zoo in what is believed to be a bizarre suicide attempt. In order to save the man, the zoo was forced to shoot and kill the two lions. (Warning: disturbing video shot from YouTube below.)


Witnesses said that the man was screaming religious statements as the cats attacked. The 20-year-old man was accidentally hit with a tranquilizer as zookeepers tried to first put the lions to sleep. However, they were unwilling to risk the life of the man and killed the lions. He is in grave condition.

hqdefaultClearly this is a disturbed individual. However, the loss of these two animals was a huge tragedy for the zoo keepers who were forced to destroy these creatures who did nothing to bring about their demise other than act according to their nature.  in the end, this man may have achieved his suicidal purpose but at a great (and presumably unintended) cost.

30 thoughts on “Man Strips Naked and Jumps Into Lion Cage . . . Zoo Kills Two Lions To Rescue Him”

  1. PETA is moving the pendulum. 25 years ago there would have been sorrow over the loss of the animals. But, there would have been much more empathy for the mentally ill man. Way to go, PETA.

  2. I am sympathetic to all parties here. Clearly the man was not well, and the lions were just being lions.

    As far as all the ‘let him die’ notions- what if it was not his fault? Maybe his caretaker reached a break point and hid his meds, then tricked him into thinking naked in a lion tank was the way to go!

    Sure that was a tale I made up. Point is, we don’t know how or why the disturbed individual came to the conclusions and actions he did. Not enough information.

  3. They need to post signs that if you are stupid enough to jump into the exhibit space, you have removed the obligation of anyone to save your sorry butt.

    This idiotic/mental behavior causes more trouble than the obvious one of death. Those cats would probably have had to be put down anyway – once they had a taste for human blood. Humans are the bane of wild animals. Those cats should have been allowed to stay in their original habitat. But we put them in zoos, contained in areas much smaller than they are used to. Then we have idiots like this man. He deserved to reap what he sowed.

  4. Darren writes, “Have we lost sight and become desensitized of the fact that this was one of our own fellow human beings that was suffering a terrible demise?”

    Plus one.

    Now, if we could only get Hillary, Drumpf, Cameron and Bibi on board the love train.

  5. They couldn’t allow the lions to develop a taste for human meat.

  6. Someone needs to shoot the nutjob. Get him off the streets. Ban him from any parks or zoos. If he won’t kill himself with a gun then give him free cigarettes.

  7. Looking at the “natural” habitat in the photo, the zookeepers may have done for the lions what this nutjob wanted to do for himself.

  8. Shoot the store clerk who sells cigarettes to some dumb suicide customer.

  9. Lions breed like rabbits in captivity and have no predators. Most are on birth control. If they want more lions they will have a batch in the spring. That said, the man seems to have been clearly unhinged.

  10. Human life is worth more than animals’. The zoo officials did what was necessary. This man likely had mental health issues. It is tragic for all concerned including the animals. But can we really ethically just allow a man to be mauled and die because we esteem the lions?

    I just cannot see the zoo employees living with themselves if they stood by and let this man die a terrible death because the lions were “victims”.

    That the man got hit with a tranquilizer dart, know that those devices are not the most accurate especially considering the exigency of the attack. My instinct is that the zoo officials did everything they could given the emergent nature of the incident. If the tranquilizers failed to prevent the mauling, the lethal force is reasonable. Have we lost sight and become desensitized of the fact that this was one of our own fellow human beings that was suffering a terrible demise?

  11. IMO, in the abstract, we have to value the lives of self-aware creatures more highly than those of others. However, in a specific case, each person should get to decide how much he values his own life and no one else is obligated to trade a higher value than that to save it. Someone committing suicide is placing a very low value on his life.

    In this case, I would say he is placing the value of his own life lower than that of the lions’ lives. While I have no idea what information the zoo staff had when they had to make their decision (e.g. whether he was trying to commit suicide or he was just an idiot), I certainly would not have blamed them if they had chosen not to kill the lions.

    (Of course, if word got out that anyone could jump into the lions’ cage without interference from zoo staff, the zoo would have a nightmare on their hands. Maybe doing what they did is the best way to keep all manner of dimwitted glory seekers from trying to prove something by jumping into the cage.)

    BTW, if this guy knew (as he should have) that the lions would likely die because of what he did, then what he did is despicable.

  12. I don’t believe the tranquilizer darts would have taken full effect in time to have prevented the lions, now in full predator attack “Beast Mode”, from tearing the man to shreds. Would it be most “appropriate” is for the “medicos” to merely go through the motions of attempting to save the creep’s life? Anybody want to respond?

  13. I suspect the zookeepers thought the lions couldn’t be sedated soon enough to avoid certain death to the human. Gosh, what a difficult position to be in. The immediate reaction with most of us, I think, would be to save the human. In hindsight, I’d save the lions.

  14. They weren’t “forced” to kill the lions, they chose to. They decided that any person is worth more than any two animals. I can’t say I agree. I would have shot the lions with a tranquilizer gun, but not a lethal weapon.

Comments are closed.