A man who stripped naked and entered a lion enclosure in a Chilean zoo has survived the incident, but the lions were killed. Authorities in Santiago confirmed that the two African lions were put down as they severely mauled the 20-year-old man who had broken into their cage early on Saturday. The man, who has been named by local media as Franco Luis Ferrada Roman, was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and was said to be in grave condition.
The young man broke into the enclosure, took off his clothes and jumped into the middle, horrifying other visitors who witnessed the attack. Once inside, the lions reportedly immediately pounced on him and began to 'play' with him. At this point, zookeepers intervened in the attack and shot the two lions in order to save his life.
The director of the zoo, Alejandra Montalva, said: 'We believe that this person entered as a visitor and paid for his ticket. She told local media the park was crowded with visitors at the time of the incident. 'Later he trespassed into an area where the public are not normally allowed and we understand that he forced the roof of the lion's enclosure. 'It was from there that he jumped, took off his clothes and started to attract the lions.' The zoo director said she was 'deeply affected' by the deaths of the two lions, a male and a female.
'The zoo has an established protocol because people's lives are very important to us,' said Montalba. She added that there were no fast-acting tranquilizers available to stop the lions from mauling the man.