In the Chilean capital, two of the three lions in the Santiago Metropolitan Zoo were killed by zoo officials. A man jumped into the lion enclosure, stripped naked, and was attacked by the big felines. He began chanting “Very apocalyptic, very religious,” as he went towards the lions and began harassing them. Naturally, the lions took action and began attacking the man and dragging him into their den.
He was later brought to a local hospital due to the mauling. According to the zoo’s director, Mauricio Fabry, “We took the unconscious man to the ICU at the Indisa Clinic where he remains today in grave condition.” This was as of May 22 of this year. It was later found that the young man had written a note similar to a suicide letter. The letter had been very religious in context and contained drawings of lions. The letter had also said things such as “I am the lion”.
It is believed the man had thought himself to be a lion. In addition to very religious content in the letter, the young man had signed the note as “Jesus” and said he would be protected by God. The man was soon identified as 20 year old Franco Luis Ferrada Roman. The lions were killed because it was important that rather than the lions remain unharmed, the man would live. There is still an investigation of the enclosure and of the “frustrated man”. There are, however, two sides to this story.
A witness to the event, Cynthia Vasquez, stated that the zookeepers had been very slow to react to the event, and that the lions had not attacked as soon as Franco Luis entered the enclosure. In her statement she said, “He entered the enclosure from above and the lions started to play with him, and then after that, they attacked him.” Various videos have been released by the public and zoo officials. Many show that Franco Luis had jumped into the enclosure, started bothering the lions, and then they proceeded to attack him. Some videos just show the death or deaths of one or both of the lions while many others started in the beginning or middle of the attack, leaving some to believe it was all at the fault of the lions. Lions are viewed as very aggressive and strong animals. They are also very well known for their predatory nature. Because of this, it is believed that the lions may be at fault for the attack of Franco Luis Ferrada Roman.
The man was also very depressed, even to the point of being suicidal, and could have very likely been driven and motivated more by emotions rather than common sense. If you are feeling depressed, do NOT do anything this drastic or harmful. Look up a local help line, talk to a trusted friend or family member, or see a counselor. Who do you think should be at fault? Should it be the depressed victim, or were the lions the ones at fault?