A man was mauled by a lion at the Barcelona Zoon moments after jumping into the enclosure. The 45-year-old man was dressed in his full military uniform. According to witnesses at the zoo, the man positioned himself in front of the lioness and was dragged into a tunnel before being rescued.
The Barcelona Zoo lion mauling victim emerged from the tunnel covered in bite marks and deep scratches. The man who jumped into the lion’s den was mauled by three of the four animals kept inside the enclosure for about 30 minutes, and was picked up in the mouth of one of the animals and thrown into a pit.
The man reportedly jumped over a fence at the Barcelona Zoo lion habitat as shocked and horrified visitors looked on. After the rescue from the lion attack, the man was transported to the de la Vall D’Hebron Hospital, where he is reportedly in serious but not critical condition.
Justo Jose MP is the name of the man mauled by lions, according to local newspaper El Pais. The paper also reported that Justo Jose is a neo-Nazi demonstrator who was arrested in November for putting Swastikas on the Casa Mila building as part of an anti-abortion protest. One Barcelona Zoo witness told the media that the man mauled by a lion is a police officer. In September, the lion mauling victim was arrested for burning the Catalan flag at the statue of Rafael Casanovas, according to Sky News. Casanovas was the commander of Catalonia during the Siege of Barcelona in the 18th Century.
“It is not known whether the incident at the zoo was a demonstration, though firefighters said the man could not have entered the enclosure accidentally,” El Pais reported.
“The security systems 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,” Bomberos de Barcelona Fire Chief Hector Carmona added.
Video footage from the Barcelona Zoo lion attack shows the man scaling the walls of the habitat before being tossed into a pit by a lioness. Firefighters had to use the strong-pressure of the water in their department hoses in order to push the lions off the man and complete the rescue.
“The intention was not to kill him, they were just trying to play with him,” Barcelona Municipal Services Directo Ignasi Armengol told the media.
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[Images via: Twitter]