Visitors to New Delhi zoo were initially horrified and then left stunned on Thursday after a man vaulted the high fence surrounding the lion enclosure and proceeded to taunt and tease the big cat before somehow surviving unharmed.
The man, whom eyewitnesses described as inebriated and potentially mentally unstable, has been identified as Rehan Khan, 28, from Bihar. Khan managed to vault the fence despite the best efforts of zoo guards to stop him, insisting that he did not wish to be rescued.
He was then filmed sitting face-to-face with a lion before appearing to lie down beside the big cat, seemingly goading the king of the jungle into attacking him.
— TOI Delhi (@TOIDelhi) October 17, 2019
The incident, which took place at roughly 12:30 pm local time on Thursday, was brought to a conclusion when zoo workers tranquilized the lion and rescued the man from the enclosure, without so much as a scratch on him.
“A lion of this size can kill a human being within 15 seconds,” said Anish Andheria of the Wildlife Conservation Trust, as cited by NDTV.
A man was mauled to death by a white tiger at the zoo in September 2014 after entering the animal’s enclosure. Zoo authorities have been repeatedly criticised for lax security, particularly around the big cat pens.
RT with additional input from GVS News Desk