Man jumps into tiger pit, gets mauled
A tiger critically injured a man who jumped into the big cat’s den at New York City’s Bronx Zoo on Friday, retreating only after emergency workers scared it off with a fire extinguisher.
The man, 25, was riding the zoo’s monorail in the afternoon and leapt from a car, clearing a fence around the tiger enclosure, according to a statement from the zoo.
He has been taken to a local hospital and is in critical condition, the New York City fire department said.
“It looks like he had some very severe wounds on his back or his torso,” said Frank Dwyer, a fire department spokesman. He said he did not know whether the wounds were caused by teeth or claws.
“One leg was severely injured,” he said, although he could not confirm early reports that the man lost a foot in the incident.
In rescuing the man, the zoo’s emergency workers used a fire extinguisher to repel the tiger, then ordered the man to roll under a hot wire to safety.
“If not for the quick response by our staff and their ability to perform well in emergency situations, the outcome would have been very different,” the zoo said.
Earlier this year, tigers at a Danish zoo in Copenhagen killed a man who scaled a fence and crossed a moat to get into their den in July, and wolves at Sweden’s largest zoo killed a zookeeper in their enclosure in June.