Well, he got his wish. Sort of.
Police say that David Villalobos, the 25-year-old Mahopac, New York, man who jumped into the Bronx Zoo tiger pen on Friday afternoon was not attempting to commit suicide, according to NBC News. Instead, Villalobos told an investigator he wanted "to be one with the tiger" and that "everyone has a reason for what they do in life." Oooo-kay.
Villalobos was charged yesterday for degrees of trespassing for jumping from the zoo’s Wild Asia train and jumping 17 feet into the enclosed tiger pen. He spent about 10 minutes inside the pen, where he was attacked by Bachuta, an adult male tiger who bit his back and reportedly dragged him by his right ankle, mangling his foot. Villalobos told police that he was able to pet Bachuta at some point during all this before zoo personnel scared the big cat away with a CO2 fire extinguisher and rescued him.
Now, for the truly macabre part of the story: zoo personnel say that when tigers kill their prey, they do it quickly and usually go for the neck. But Buchata only gnawed on Villalobos’ foot. (Playing with his food?) Police say most of the man’s injuries were from the 17-foot fall, not from the actual tiger attack. He know has a metal rod in his foot, Gothamist reports.
Cops also believe the tiger-pen jump was premeditated, as Villalobos allegedly visited the Bronx Zoo two weeks earlier with his girlfriend. Stay turned for her take on all this.
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