What led to Franco Luis Ferrada Roman choosing suicide by lion death? Santiago zoo criticized for lax response to emergency.
Local media have identified Franco Luis Ferrada Roman as the 20 year old man who earlier on Saturday stripped and entered a lion enclosure at a Santiago, Chilean zoo lion enclosure in a bid to enact his suicide death at the behest of the predators.
Despite his death wish, Franco Luis Ferrada Roman survived after Metropolitan zoo keepers shot down two lions who by then had savagely mauled the man, with the man taken to a nearby hospital in a seriously grave condition.
According to Chile’s LaNacion journal, the 20 year old broke into the lion enclosure where upon taking off his clothes, jumped into the middle while horrified onlookers watched.
Once inside, the lions pounced on the man as the ‘played’ with him.
At this point, zookeepers intervened, shooting the two lions in order to save the man’s life.
Told zoo director, Alejandra Montalva: ‘We believe that this person entered as a visitor and paid for his ticket.
At the time of the man’s entry, Montalva told the park was crowded with visitors, adding:
‘Later he trespassed into an area where the public are not normally allowed and we understand that he forced the roof of the lion’s enclosure.
‘It was from there that he jumped, took off his clothes and started to attract the lions.’
The zoo director said she was ‘deeply affected’ by the deaths of the two lions, a male and a female.
Reiterated Montalva: ‘The zoo has an established protocol because people’s lives are very important to us.’
She added that there were no fast-acting tranquilizers available to stop the lions from mauling the man.
That said, some have criticized the actions of the zoo, with one witness, Cynthia Vasquez, telling Chilean radio station Bio Bio that security personnel were slow to react and that the animals did not attack the man as soon as he entered the enclosure.
‘He entered the enclosure from above and the lions started to play with him, and then after they attacked him,’ she said.
She also said the man was ‘shouting things about Jesus’.
The woman told how security personnel at ‘first they threw water, evacuated the people and only later did they fire shots’.
Told another witness via Chilevision: ‘Everyone started screaming when they saw him.’
Added another witness: ‘There were a lot of children there, and parents covered their eyes while it was going on.’
They continued: ‘He was screaming religious things.’
Post attack, authorities told of finding a suicide note inside the man’s clothes, where Franco Luis Ferrada Roman made allusions to the apocalypse for wishing to take his own life.
Metropolitan Park director Mauricio Fabry according to a report via the dailymail confirmed that a note – which appeared to be a suicide note – was found in the suicidal man’s clothing.
By Saturday evening, Ferrada Roman was said to no longer be in a life-threatening condition.
At present it is not necessarily understood how the suicidal man was able to make his way inside the lion enclosure.
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