There’s a very good reason you don’t try to touch the animals at the zoo and this man has learned that lesson the hard way.
viral footage has captured the moment a man working at a Jamaican zoo has had his finger ripped off by a lion.
Admittedly, the man did poke his finger through the fencing and wiggled it in the male lion’s face.
So, the lion, doing what predators do, seized the opportunity for a snack.
An eyewitness said that the man, who appeared to be a Jamaica Zoo staff member, was showing off to onlookers when it all went horribly wrong.
“When it happened, I thought it was a joke. I didn’t think it was serious. I didn’t realize the seriousness of it, because it’s their job to put on a show,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
“Obviously, when he fell on the ground everybody realized that it was serious. Everybody started to panic.”
She then added some rather gruesome details: “The entire skin and about the first joint of his finger was gone.”
The now-viral video has sparked concern for the lion’s welfare and treatment by staff.
Managing director at the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Pamela Lawson told the Observer that the incident would be investigated.
“We will be going down there and I will be communicating with the National Environment and Planning Agency who has oversight over Jamaica Zoo,” she said.
Jamaica Zoo has released a statement to assure the public the zoo is a safe place to be for both people and animals.
“The management and staff here at Jamaica Zoo wishes to reassure the public that we pride ourselves on the love, care, and professional treatment our animals receive,” the statement reads.
“The actions displayed in a video [are of] a contractor [of] Jamaica Zoo [are] tragic and do not represent the safety procedures and policies that must be adhered to at all times at Jamaica Zoo.”
The zoo added: “It is an unfortunate event that should never have happened, and we – the family of Jamaica Zoo – are doing everything to assist the gentleman moving forward.”
Jamaica Zoo is currently investigating the incident to prevent similar injuries from occurring in the future.
People on social media have been quick to condemn the man for his actions.
One user said: “Look, like, he was agitating the lion. Kept patting his face, trying to get a rise out of him. I pray the man gets better soon. People need to respect animals. Poor lion is already behind bars, and then this man goes and puts his hands in his face.”
A second added: “Screw the idiot that shoved his hand in the lion’s mouth.”
Although he’s being roasted online, we’ll bet that’s not the sore point for him right now.