Man Tries To Kill Himself By Jumping Into Lion Pit

| by Michael Doherty
A Pair Of LionsA Pair Of Lions

A man reportedly stripped naked and tried to feed himself to lions at a zoo in Santiago, Chile, on May 21, claiming to be a prophet of God.

Franco Ferrada, 20, took off all of his clothes and jumped into the lion pit at Santiago Zoo, while a large group of terrified zoo visitors could do nothing but watch, according to the Daily Mail. Ferrada shouted about religion as he ran at the lions, which began to maul him.

Ferrada had also left a note in one of his pockets, claiming he was God's prophet. Ferrada also said the apocalypse was coming.

"The apocalypse has arrived, and I will know when it shall come," said Ferrada in his note. "I am the prophet and I have returned for my people."

Ferrada's mother died of breast cancer when he was 11 years old, and his grandmother told Chilean media outlets that it was difficult for him. Friends say he never forgave his father, who was an alcoholic, for abandoning him and his eight siblings. Ferrada was raised in the country's orphanage system.

On Mother's Day, Ferrada wrote an emotional message grieving his mother's death. "How I would love to have you here, to hug you and kiss you and feel your protecting warmth, just as when I was born," he wrote.

The zoo is considering taking legal action against Ferrada, claiming his actions may be trespassing.

"There were a lot of children there, and parents covered their eyes while it was going on. He was screaming religious things," said a witness who watched Ferrada throw himself to the lions.

Zookeepers had to kill two lions attacking Ferrada to save his life, and he is currently recovering from injuries to his head and pelvic area. Zoo director Alejandra Montalba said she and her staff were "deeply affected" by the decision to kill the lions, according to the Mirror.

Dr. Sebastian Ugarde, from Indisa Clinic, said Ferrada's heart almost stopped during his time at the clinic, but that he is no longer in life-threatening condition and that the clinic has high hopes for his recovery.

Source: Daily Mail, Mirror / Photo credit: Mario Micklisch/Flickr

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