Police To Charge Man Mauled by Tiger

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The police said on Saturday that they expected to file trespassing charges against a man who leapt from a monorail into a tiger enclosure at the Bronx Zooon Friday.

Paul J. Browne, the chief police spokesman, said in an e-mail that the man, David Villalobos of Mahopac, N.Y., appeared to have a “passion for cats.”

According to Mr. Browne, Mr. Villalobos told investigators that the leap into the enclosure was motivated by a desire to be “one with the tiger.”

On Friday afternoon, Mr. Villalobos, 25, got on the Wild Asia Monorail, which glides over about 40 acres of open space at the zoo, then jumped as it passed the tiger habitat. He cleared a 16-foot fence and landed near a 400-pound Siberian tiger named Bachuta.

Bachuta attacked Mr. Villalobos, who suffered puncture wounds to his arms, shoulder and back, as well as a broken arm and a broken leg.

But Mr. Browne said that Mr. Villalobos told the police that the jump caused most of his injuries.

Zoo workers held Bachuta at bay with a fire extinguisher while Mr. Villalobos rolled under a fence to escape.

“When an N.Y.P.D. sergeant asked Villalobos yesterday why he had jumped into the tiger preserve, he replied that ‘everyone in life makes choices,’ ” Mr. Browne wrote, adding: “He recalled being dragged by the tiger by the foot, and afterwards being able to pet the tiger.”

Mr. Villalobos was in stable condition at Jacobi Medical Center on Saturday.

Source: NY Times

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