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Man mauled by tiger after zoo leap

A visitor to the Bronx Zoo in New York was left critically injured after being mauled by a tiger when he jumped from an elevated monorail train and fell into the animal's enclosure.

The man was alone with the tiger for about 10 minutes before being rescued, and he suffered bites and punctures on his arms, legs, shoulders and back and broke an arm and a leg.

The incident happened in the Wild Asia exhibit, where a train with open sides takes visitors over the Bronx River and through a forest, where they glide along the top edge of a fence, past elephants, deer and the tiger enclosure.

Passengers are not strapped in on the ride, and the 25-year-old man apparently jumped out of his train carriage, with a leap powerful enough to clear the perimeter fence.

The man was attacked by an 11-year-old male tiger that has been at the zoo for three years.

The zoo's staff used a fire extinguisher to chase the tiger off, and the man was instructed to roll under an electrified wire to get to safety, zoo director Jim Breheny said. Zookeepers then called the tiger into a holding area.

The man was conscious and talking after the mauling, Mr Breheny said.

"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," he said.

Police said the man was taken to hospital in critical condition.

The tiger did nothing wrong and will not be put to sleep, zoo officials said. It was put back in a holding area where it usually sleeps at night.

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph