Zoo officials killed two lions to save suicidal man who jumped into big cats’ enclosure

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SANTIAGO, Chile — A zoo killed two lions to save a man who jumped into the big cats’ enclosure in the Chilean capital.

The man climbed over the fence Saturday and removed his clothes before approaching the lions, according to a statement posted on the Santiago Metropolitan Zoo Facebook page.

He was apparently attempting suicide, and a note was found in his clothes, Chilean media reported.

Zoo staff shot and killed two of the lions with live rounds to protect the man, the zoo’s statement said.

“Due to the circumstances and to firstly protect the life of this person, we found ourselves obliged to apply all of our security protocols,” the zoo’s statement reads.

The two lions, a male and a female, were shot in front of a large crowd of zoo visitors. The male lion was born at the zoo, while the lioness was rescued from a circus, local media reported.

The zoo said it took the “incomprehensible action” of killing two of its three lions, which was “profoundly painful for every single one of us.”


‘Very apocalyptic, very religious’

Once he had entered the enclosure, the intruder removed his clothes he began to bother the lions, to jump towards them and to chant “very apocalyptic, very religious” proverbs, the park’s director, Mauricio Fabry told CNN. He was mauled by the lions, which began dragging him to their den, before they were shot. The man was hospitalized in serious condition.

“It was imminent (to) save this man and we had to shoot the lions,” Fabry said.

“We took the unconscious young man to the ICU at the Indisa Clinic where he remains today in grave condition,” he added.

The decision to shoot the cats was made because tranquilizers do not take effect for several minutes and the man’s life was in danger as the lions were already attacking him.

“The young man had a letter. I don’t know if it would be categorized as a suicide note. It was very Christian and it had drawings of lions. He was the lions in the drawings, with things that said, ‘I am the lion,'” Fabry said, adding that the man’s mother had recently died.

Another local report stated that the victim had signed the note “Jesus” and said that God would protect him.

The zoo remained open over the weekend, with only the lion enclosure closed for the investigation. Zoo officials said the facility was safe, and what happened was the result of one person’s actions in violation of zoo protocols.

Chilean police officials described the victim as a 20-year-old male, referring to him as a “frustrated man.”

An investigation is underway.

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  • Therese

    Why not just tranqualize them, why kill them? They had every right to go after them. Such stupid humans!

    • Don't worry

      Do you know how long it take for those to work? He was being MAULED do you understand what that means? You honey are the dumb one.

      • The truth hurts

        Let him die. Lions should not die to save him. If he had a death wish so be it. Common sense. Terrible a lion should die to protect that loser.

      • Jeanette

        Don’t you understand the numbers?
        7+ billion people; 32,000 lions (considered close to extinction, thanks to man).
        Almost 219,000 TIMES the number of people as lions.
        Are you this destroyer’s mother or girlfriend, by any chance?
        Note: Using a condescending tone, such as calling a stranger “honey,” turns almost everyone off, not just your target.

      • Brendopanda

        Honey you are the dumb one. They didnt choose to be there wasnt their choice they didnt hunt and catch him he jumped into their cage to kill himself shoot him

      • Abdulaziz Farooq

        Lions are hunted in Africa illegally as well as legally. Why no one cares about that.
        Zoo had to protect its business. Which is making money by displaying animals.

        No one will visit a zoo that has poor safety record.

    • Alvin Sy

      According to our local news, ABS, CBN. “They then fired a tranquilizer dart to sedate the big cats, according to the report, but ended up hitting Ferrada in the neck instead.” Ferrada is the naked man.


    • Jeanette

      There are apparently plenty of people who would be perfectly happy if every last animal was destroyed.
      Shame on the selfish twits.

    • Denine

      I feel so angry over this zoo killing the 2 lions! They are endangered species, that human was NOT! How dare that low-life loser decide because his life was worthless, that he had to take the lions with him! What a selfish bastard! If he survives the mauling (and I sincerely hope NOT), the Chile authorities had better lock this nut-job up and throw away the key! That is all he deserves! I am currently mourning the 2 lions deaths and if this idiot dies, I will celebrate! Damn him to hell for this selfish act!

      • shelly frame

        I wish there had been time for them to consider. I would guess this was a situation where they acted according to a general rule and then got facts later.
        Those poor lions.

    • Paul

      The sad fact is he was so gone that he probably didn’t even thought that other people would still place is life before the lions and would have to shot them both..

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  • Jon Devo

    God’s work people. God’s work. He protected the man, just like he said. His faith was proven worthy.
    – In all seriousness though, it’s a tragedy that people can believe such things in the 21st century. He will recover with a stronger belief than he did before entering the lions’ den. Just like Daniel.

  • Norell

    Of all the stupid ways to try to kill yourself.I would never have killed the lions, for this nut job.

  • JenJay

    Tragic story. I can not fault the zoo personnel for the decision to euthanize the lions. They were left with no other option.

    • Jeanette

      “Euthanize” is a much nicer word than what happened to these lions, who (thanks our species) belonged to a group that is nearly extinct, with a remaining population estimated to be only about 32,000. These two lions were killed on behalf of a destructive member of a group of well over 7 BILLION – almost 219,000 TIMES the number of lions left.
      When the lions are extinct, and children ask why there aren’t any, parents can tell them that their fellow humans decimated, and then destroyed, the lions of the world.
      Or, they could be told that God WANTED the lions extinct – then try to explain that.
      And what is this sicko going to do to pretend compensation (since real compensation is impossible) for the loss of two members of a nearly extinct species? Will he be forced to work for scientists trying to save the lions?
      Probably not, but one small comfort is that Chile is not a welfare state, so this creep won’t be pandered to and showered with taxpayer money (as would likely happen in the US).

  • Mayor McTrolley and Chief Wiggum are useless!!!

    Why kill the lions? The idiot went into THEIR territory,not visa versa. Tranquilized them at most,but the lions didn’t deserve to die.

    • ruler

      how lives of 2 lions is important? millions of animals are killed for taste of tongue? what u guys have to say on that?

      • Irrelevant


        You are being bias af. Like okay two lions killed, yeah bit this guy has a point. How many other animals are brutally killed a day just to fill your pathetic stomach? Youre probably an animal planet watchin ass bihh. Only concerned when something out of the “ordinary” happens.

  • Teresa Murray

    My heart breaks over this. How sad for them to be killed. This is exactly why I will always oppose zoos and circuses. Animals and aquatic life were never meant to be subjected to public scrutiny through gates and cages, nor be “trained” to obey the commands of mankind. Even when being introduced to humans as babies, they will always possess the instinct of being the wild animals. Who knows when that instinct will surface, and they should die for being what they truly are???

  • ruler

    good job killing the lions. What does that mean ‘Lions territory’? I do not eat some one who enters my house or office. Humans life is more valuable than Lions PERIOD.

    • Jeanette

      Good job of the nutcase (a member of a population of over 7 BILLION) to be responsible for the deaths of two animals whose species is almost extinct (thanks the the fellow members of the nutcase’s species).
      If he has normal intelligence, he knew he was going to get those animals killed; if not, then let’s fix him up so he can’t make new stupid people.
      Or maybe he could just kill people’s pets next – good job!

    • ruler

      I can understand you are running out of argument. Soldiers die even when their country looses. So those soldiers died for nothing? It was just bad luck for Lions that human jumped into their cage. Human being has to be saved PERIOD. So many animals are butchered everyday…why special treatment to lions?

  • Genie S

    This is just so stupid…any facility housing wild animals should have a tranquilizing gun that is at the ready for an emergency.,,,and one that is loaded with a fast acting sedative agent…..a crazy lunatic gets naked and enters the area of wild lions….then the poor lions get killed because they do what they do in nature….please, if you don’t have efficient tranquilizing guns, then make sure your enclosure is totally enclosed, not with the top being opened, so as to prevent anyone like this nut from getting in……this is incredulous to any sane person…………..

  • abteen

    This is a load of rubbish!! The selfish man who wanted to commit suicide created this scene in attempt to seek attention. The innocent lion and tiger who have been captured and brought into captivity into the zoo, have demonstrated the disgusting dominion which humans have over all. It does not make sense that two animals have their lives innocently taken from them because of a delusional man. The actions taken on that day show the staff are unprofessional and do not deserve the right to have such a job. If a man were to commit suicide my jumping off of a building, two innocent babies unaware of what is happening would not have their lives sacrificed for one who wants to end their life.
    More disturbingly unmentioned is the fact that the staff at the zoo where unable to avert the attention of the animals by feeding them or playing with them. Even more disturbingly when the staff fired tranquillisers at the animals they failed with all attempts to successfully hit the massive Lion and Tiger which stood above the man yet when the real weapons where brought out the staff managed to hit both Lion and Tiger successfully with no failure!! Tell me this is not a load of…

  • Drew

    The lions had every right to be in the enclosure he did not it was his choice the lions should of been allowed to live, its bad enough the lions where captive in the first place but to murder these beautiful animals because some moron has lost the will to live is bloody stupid, tranquillizers can be fast acting so they should of been available to use not lethal force.

  • Crystalle

    Should have let the lions eat him. If the situation was reversed and a man jumped into the lion den and was on the verge of killing a lion nobody would have shot him.

  • Greg

    They should have shot the intruder. We don’t need his genes in the pool and the Lions had done nothing wrong.

  • MikeHunt

    Darwin award should have prevailed. If some dumbass goes out of their way and squeezes past barriers meant to keep stupid humans out to ‘hang’ with the kittys then so be it. Don’t kill an endangered animal because this lunatic was out of his mind. Too focking bad. And ass-pipe teabaggers like ‘ruler’ are as stupid as the scum in the story, with their delusional justification of killing the lions. Read the signs or die. Very simple. Keep Out.

  • Token honkey!!!

    Damn!!!! U honkeys mad as$ hell over a f#@king lion!!! Lmao.. Hell i say hang the lion head up next too bow tie the deer!!! Lmao said when animal rights is more then humans!!!

  • tracy

    So why kill the Lions minding their own business, so sick of it being the animals fault he jumped in there because he wanted to die.

  • shoaib ahmed

    Y didnt any1 notice when he climbed up the wall? The walls shud b higher then….A water cannon shud have been used like they did in India.

  • mynameisno

    Now what if this man dies? Well then what was all of this for? Just heartbreaking, all of it…

  • Okay

    I don’t defend either party at this point, it’s really not getting us anywhere by doing so, however there is a difference here as compared to cincy shooting. These cats were to the point of killing this man. The gorilla was undetermined whether or not he was gonna do anything to the boy. Two zoo tragedies in a one week at any time Is two, too many!

  • Frank Ercole

    Why kill one living being to save another. This guy wanted to die. The lions didn’t.

  • Michelle

    Somehow this mans life was more valuable as he purposefully did this and chose this location and knew this would get these animals killed. Crazy cruel world when us humans who are supposed to be the smart superior ones, rescue one lion only to kill him. Confusing last moments for an animal that normally shouldn’t be captive to begin with. I realize they didn’t want the best for this lion in beginning but he should’ve been gone from there at some point. Not sure on all the history of the other. When humans do a suicidal act like this perhaps you just let it be as surely this man may not have made it anyway and next time he would succeed and possibly do something involving humans next time if he hasn’t already. You watch this man will do something again

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