A man who stripped naked and entered a lion enclosure in a Chilean zoo has survived the incident, but the lions were killed.
Santiago authorities confirmed that the two 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.
‘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.
One witness, Cynthia Vasquez, told Chilean radio station Bio Bio that the security personnel at the zoo were slow to react and that the animals did not attack the man as soon as he entered the enclosure.
‘He entered the enclosure from above and the lions started to play with him, and then after they attacked him,’ she said.
She also said the man was ‘shouting things about Jesus’.
She criticized the actions of the security personal, saying ‘first they threw water, evacuated the people and only later did they fire shots’.