One man suffered several injuries after being attacked by a tiger at the Bronx Zoo on September 21st. David Villalobos from Mahopac, N.Y., was riding the Wild Asia Monorail at the Zoo when he leapt out of the last rail car and into the tiger habitat, according to the New York Times.
Zoo officials said that Villalobos jumped over a 16-foot-high protective fence before landing in the tiger habitat. Once inside, Villalobos came face-to-face with Bachuta, the 11-year-old tiger weighing over 400 pounds. James Breheny, the zoo’s director, told the Times that Bachuta left “puncture wounds” on Villalobos’s legs, shoulder, and back.
Villalobos was transported to Jacobi Medical Center late Friday night, where he was treated for a broken arm, a broken leg, and other injuries, including deep cuts on his back. According to Breheny, the zoo keepers were able to secure the tiger by holding him in an off-exhibit area. When Villalobos was taken to the hospital after the incident, he was still conscious and talking.
This was the first time a passenger jumped from the monorail into an animal enclosure in the 35 years of the monorail’s operation, Breheny also told the Times. The zoo will not handle Bachuta or the other tigers any differently since “the tiger did nothing wrong.”
By Tatiana Baez
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