Man mauled by Bronx Zoo tiger pleads not guilty to trespassing

Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:58pm EST

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(Reuters) - A man who was mauled after leaping into a Siberian tiger's den at the Bronx Zoo in September pleaded not guilty to criminal trespassing charges on Friday.

David Villalobos, 25, jumped off of the zoo's elevated monorail and into the tiger enclosure on the afternoon of September 21, according to the criminal complaint against him. He was released until his next court appearance on March 12, a spokesman for the Bronx District Attorney's office said.

Villalobos said he jumped into the tiger's den for spiritual reasons.

"I was testing my natural fear," Villalobos said, according to the complaint. "I wanted to be at one with the tiger."

During his ten minutes with a 400-pound (180-kg) Siberian tiger named Bashuta, he sustained multiple bites or puncture wounds on his arms, legs and shoulder. The zoo's emergency workers rescued him by scaring the tiger away with a fire extinguisher.

(Reporting by Peter Rudegeair and Jonathan Allen; Editing by Greg McCune and Marguerita Choy)

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Comments (4)
JamVee wrote:
The zoo keepers should have left this idiot in the cage and saved the taxpayers the cost of feeding the Tiger for several days. In addition, the taxpayers would be saved the cost of a trial for this cretin, not to mention his incarceration. Sound rude and uncaring? Well, frankly, I think we, as a society, are forced to spend way too much time and money treating and caring for these nut cases, by a minority of bleeding hearts dingbats, who would gladly support a charity dedicated to blind and disabled squid!

Jan 11, 2013 5:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ebsriram wrote:
I truly do enjoy natural selection.

Jan 11, 2013 5:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SilentBoy741 wrote:
It’s not trespassing if the resident tiger was having him over for dinner.

Jan 11, 2013 6:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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