Man Mauled At Zoo ‘Wanted To Be One’ With Tiger
September 22, 2012
A man who was mauled by a tiger at the Bronx Zoo is facing arrest after telling investigators he wanted “to be one” with the 400-pound beast, police said Saturday.
David Villalobos also claimed that despite his serious injuries, he was able to pet the tiger before zookeepers came to his rescue, said New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne.
Browne said that based on a complaint from the zoo and his own admissions, the hospitalized Villalobos would be arrested and charged with trespassing.
Police had said earlier that 25-year-old Villalobos admitted to a police officer making a conscious decision to jump from an elevated train into the animal’s den, but that his motives were unclear and an arrest uncertain.
That changed when, during an interview Saturday at the hospital, Villalobos told detectives that “his leap was definitely not a suicide attempt, but a desire to be one with the tiger,” Browne said.
The mauling happened Friday afternoon in the Wild Asia exhibit featuring a train with open sides that takes visitors over the Bronx River and through a forest, where they glide