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A Chilean Man Tried to Feed Himself to a Bunch of Zoo Lions

Franco Luis Ferrada survived his alleged suicide attempt, but now two lions are dead.

by Carlton Férment
May 23 2016, 3:25pm

A lion, not unlike the one that was shot by a zoo marksman.

Read: A Danish Zoo Publicly Dissected a Dead Lion, You Know, for Kids

Two lions were killed at the Santiago Metropolitan Zoo in Chile Sunday after a man allegedly tried to commit suicide by stripping naked and jumping into the enclosure, NBC reports.

Franco Luis Ferrada, 20, stripped down and made his way to the top of the zoo's big cat enclosure, where he began taunting the lions in an apparent suicide attempt. Hundreds of attendees watched as zoo staff tried to hose the animals down to divert their attention from Ferrada, and then turned to firing tranquilizers. After a tranquilizer accidentally hit Ferrada, the lions began to maul and drag him back to their den. In order to try to save Ferrada, zoo staff decided to fire live rounds at the lions, killing one male and one female lion in the process.

Ferrada was taken to a nearby hospital, where he remains in serious condition from the injuries he sustained, as well as the massive amount of tranquilizer in his body. Police said that they found what they believe to be a suicide note, scrawled with drawings of lions and signed by "Jesus."

A small candlelight vigil was arranged for the lions who were killed, and zoo staff has assured visitors that the enclosures are safe and will remain open. Chilean authorities are currently investigating the big cat enclosure, as well.

In July last year, the internationally beloved Cecil the Lion was shot by big-game hunter and dentist Walter Palmer, who quickly became a pariah of biblical proportions, so Ferrada probably has that to look forward to.

Photo via Wikipedia