Police: Mauled Man Chose To Jump Into Tiger's Den

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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UPDATE: Saturday, September 22, 2012

Authorities say a man mauled by a tiger at the Bronx Zoo told a police officer he made a conscious decision to jump into the animal's den.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne has identified the victim as 25-year-old David Villalobos.

Villalobos remained hospitalized in stable condition Saturday after making a dramatic leap from a monorail into the exhibit that's home to the 400-pound cat.

The police spokesman says that when a responding police officer asked Villalobos why he did it, the victim responded, "Everybody in life makes choices."

Browne says that Villalobos' Facebook page suggests he's an animal lover but gives no further clues about his motive.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bronx Zoo officials say a visitor who leaped into an exhibit and was mauled by a tiger was alone with the 400-pound beast for about 10 minutes before being rescued.

Zoo director Jim Breheny says the man jumped from a moving monorail on Friday afternoon and fell 17 feet over a fence enclosing the Wild Asia exhibit. He says the man suffered bites and punctures on his arms, legs, shoulders and back.

Police say the 25-year-old man also has a broken arm and broken leg.

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

Breheny says the tiger did nothing wrong and will not be euthanized. The tiger is back in a holding area where it usually sleeps at night.

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