A fun day at the zoo for a group of visitors in Jamaica turned into an ordeal when they ended up witnessing a lion rebel against a person who appeared to be a zookeeper.
A video of the incident, which has since gone viral, generated criticism on social media and many questioned the treatment of the animals at the facility.
The video shows an African lion roaring in its enclosure while the man continues to tease the wild cat by running his hands through the iron mesh to pet or tickle it.
The animal, which appears to be upset, is heard roaring in protest and even trying to hold the man’s finger as visitors record the event on their cell phones.
The lion attacked the man
Quickly, things go wrong as the beast manages to bite the man’s finger. As the man screams and is seen using all his strength to pull the animal off to let go of his hand, the lion refuses to do so. After struggling a bit, the lion finally lets go and the man falls to the ground.
According to jamaicaobserver.com, The incident occurred at the Jamaica Zoo on Friday and a lion cut off the man’s finger at the St. Elizabeth-based attraction. The incident occurred late in the afternoon and was witnessed by more than 15 guests.
One of the visitors who witnessed the incident said it happened as the zoo tour was coming to an end when the man, in an apparent effort to impress visitors, attempted to pet the lion. However, he only irritated the wild animal.
The visitors didn’t believe it was the real thing
“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,” he said, adding that everyone started to panic after he fell to the ground.
As the short clip was widely shared, many criticized the man for being irresponsible and reckless. Others called his actions “idiotic” and said he “got what he deserved.”
As criticism grew, the zoo issued a statement with its management assuring everyone that the zoo is a safe place for everyone. They explained that the man in the video was a “contractor” and clarified that the clip does not represent the safety procedures and policies that must be adhered to at the facility at all times.