Tiger mauls man at Bronx Zoo

2012-09-22 10:00

New York - A Siberian tiger critically injured a man who jumped into the big cat's den at New York'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 elevated monorail in the afternoon and leapt from a car, clearing a fence around the tiger enclosure, according to a statement from the zoo.

He was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. His condition was later upgraded to stable, a spokesperson for the Jacobi Medical Center said.

Zoo and fire officials said the man received bites or puncture wounds on his arms, legs and shoulder during the roughly 10 minutes he was alone with the tiger.

"One leg was severely injured," said Frank Dwyer, a fire department spokesperson, although he could not confirm early reports 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 an electrified perimeter wire to safety.

The staff had been prepared to use deadly force if necessary, zoo director Jim Breheny told a televised news conference.

"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.

The tiger involved is an 11-year-old, 180kg male named Bachuta, Breheny said. The director said the zoo would review the incident but would not put the tiger down or take it out of the exhibit.

Breheny said the incident was "just an extraordinary event that happened because somebody was trying to endanger themselves".

"The tiger did nothing wrong in this case at all," he said.

In July, tigers at a zoo in Copenhagen killed a man who scaled a fence and crossed a moat to get into their den, and wolves at Sweden's largest zoo killed a zookeeper in their enclosure in June.

  • david.christianson1 - 2012-09-22 10:17

    Emergency workers deprive tiger of food

      tuco.angeleyes - 2012-09-22 11:44

      I hate zoos. this animal should be roaming in the wild and not locked up in some zoo. I would maul someone as well if i was locked up in some enclosure and food walked into my cage

  • Dawn Campbell Gibson - 2012-09-22 10:19

    STUPID man! When he recovers, he should be charged with something. When will people learn to leave wild animals alone.

      Rabbler.Rouser - 2012-09-22 10:47

      The man was certainly an idiot. Maybe he thought it was like a litte kitty cat that you can play with. I'm sure he quickly learnt how powerfull tigers really are.

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-22 10:29

    Its bad enough a big cat like that must be locked up in a small enclosure,then he still has lunatics jumping in! Probably the most exciting event in this poor animals life!

      obadia.segwape - 2012-09-22 11:18

      true that.MARDAGASGA 4 IN 4RD

  • nicholas.graan - 2012-09-22 11:01

    "The tiger did nothing wrong in this case at all," he said - oh really?? is that stupid comment for all the dumbo's out there who thought the tiger might have done "something wrong" Animals do what they do out of instinct, in which case would an animal "do something wrong"?

  • Staalburger - 2012-09-22 11:02

    Failed suicide attempt, that's all it is.

  • nick.holmes.184881 - 2012-09-22 11:10

    Elmyra Duff wannabe?

  • graham.barlow.902 - 2012-09-22 11:52

    I trust that the "deadly force" used would have been to put the moron out of his misery, not to shoot the tiger.

  • harley.quin.334 - 2012-09-22 12:22

    the stupitity of people knows no bounds, i live and work in the Pilanesberg (big 5 national Park) and we see it all here, from people braaing and swiming in the dams, never mind the hippo's and croc's to people getting out of their car near lions in order to get a better photograph and one old dear attempting to shoo a bull elephant of the road because he was wasting their time by not moving

  • paul.myers.984 - 2012-09-22 13:13

    There once was a lady from Ryger\r\nWho rode with a smile on a tiger\r\nThey returned from the ride\r\nWith the lady inside\r\nAnd the smile on the face of the tiger\r\n \r\nAnon.

  • andrew.wilson.37266136 - 2012-09-22 14:04

    They're Americans - I see a law suite in the near future - most likely there was no sign warning people that tigers may be dangerous if confronted.............

  • hannah.p.mostert - 2012-09-22 16:15

    I don't think the guy was suicidal, but he could have been mentally disturbed, as in mentally ill or having a psychotic episode

  • maryna.vanwyk.71 - 2012-09-22 20:36

    And here the Yankees educate us in South Africa that the problem does not lie with the animal....Well done, the tiger will not be shot or put to sleep!

  • pages:
  • 1