A man is listed in critical condition after jumping off the monorail at the Bronx Zoo into the tiger den. A 400-lb tiger attacked the man before zoo workers scared it off with a fire extinguisher.
The Wall Street Journal reports Zoo director Jim Breheny says the 25-year old man was lucky to escape, suffering bites and puncture wounds on his arms, legs, shoulders and back as well as a broken arm and leg. "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 incident happened around 3 pm Friday afternoon when the man jumped from the monorail train, clearing a 16-foot perimeter fence, into the Wild Asia exhibit.
An 11-year old, 400-lb Siberian tiger named Bashuta began mauling the man until zoo workers arrived. As soon as the animal got off the 25-year old, he was told to roll under an electrified wire to get to safety.
Breheny says, "When someone is determined to do something harmful to themselves, it's very hard to stop that."
The animal, the only one of 10 tigers at the zoo on display at the time, was moved to a holding area and officials say it will not be euthanized. "The tiger did nothing wrong in this episode."
Zoo officials say they will review safety procedures by say this was just an extraordinary occurrence.