Twenty-year-old Franco Luis Ferrada Roman was rushed to a hospital in a ‘grave condition’ after he was mauled by two lions whose enclosure he broke into in Santiago zoo, Chile. The zookeepers had to shoot dead the two lions aggravated by Ferrada Roman.
The incident took place during peak visiting hours and there were several witnesses — including children — who were traumatised by the incident. The director of the Santiago zoo, Alejandra Montalva, told Daily Mail, “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.”
Montalva was, understandably, deeply affected by the decision to shoot the lions as there were no fast-acting tranquilizers available to stop the lions from mauling Ferrada Roman.
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One witness, Cynthia Vasquez, said that the security personnel were slow to react. According to her, they jumped into action only after “he entered the enclosure from above and the lions started to play with him and then after they attacked him.” She even criticised their approach, saying, “First they threw water, evacuated the people and only later did they fire shots.”
Vasquez and other witnesses said that he was “screaming religious things” — particularly about Jesus. A suicide note found in his clothes mentioned an apocalypse as the reason for his death wish.
Ferrada Roman suffered injuries to head and pelvic areas and his heart almost stopped, but he is no longer in a life-threatening condition.