Seriously hurt after jumping into the lions’ den

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A MAN who jumped into the lion enclosure at Barcelona Zoo is in a serious condition after being badly mauled.

Three lions attacked the man who, dressed in military uniform, had scrambled over railings before climbing on one of the walls of the pit in which the animals live. He was picked off by one of the lions before being mauled.

The 45-year-old was subject to attacks for about 30 minutes as keepers and firemen tried to keep the lions away from him using water from fire hoses. Eventually the animals dragged him through a tunnel into an enclosure where keepers and firemen were finally able to rescue him.

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He was covered in scratches and bites but remained fully conscious.

The man, said to be a Local Police officer and former Guardia Civil, was taken to Barcelona’s Hospital de la Vall D’Hebron, where his condition was described as serious but not life threatening.

While it is not known if the man was planning on making some kind of demonstration, it is thought he must have entered the lions’ enclosure deliberately.


Hector Carmona, chief-firefighter in Barcelona, said: “The security system makes it impossible for a person to fall into the enclosure. It cannot have been by accident, to enter you have to want to go in.”

The fact he survived after being in the enclosure so long indicates the lions were merely being playful, said zoo keepers.

Ignasi Armengol, director of Barcelona Municipal Services, said: “The intention was not to kill him, they were just trying to play with him.”


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