Nothing good is going to come of a situation that involves being in a cage with a wild animal at the zoo. Nothing. And yet, people keep putting themselves in situations where – despite warnings from the zoo and others around them – they come face to face with lions, tigers, and bears (oh, my). Some of these people died with a caged animal; others were injured or maimed by a captive wild beast. Obviously, these people weren't rocket scientists or else they wouldn't have ended up in such a precarious predicament.
These are 13 of the dumbest, most idiotic, and sometimes drunkest people to ever jump the fence at a zoo. Some of them have lived to tell the tale – others not so much.
Zoo Officials Kill Lions To Save Man
Chilean zoo officials had to shoot and kill two lions after a suicidal man got naked and climbed into their enclosure. According to onlookers, he was taunting the cats and chanting “very apocalyptic, very religious” proverbs.
Officials later found what they thought was a suicide note with his clothes, but the paper mostly had very Christian messaging and drawings of lions. Officials they were forced to kill the lions in order to save him. Crowds watched as the two cats were put down.
Tiger Mauls Lady's Hand In Halloween Prank
A drunk woman at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE, got her hand bitten by a tiger when she disobeyed zoo rules and reached into its cage to give it a pet on Halloween night, 2015. The 18-year-old Malayan tiger thought the 33-year-old would make a great midnight snack, and the woman was rushed to the hospital after the tiger's bite caused "severe trauma to her hand."
Barefoot Man Wants A Bear Hug
A 32-year-old barefoot man wandered into the bear enclosure at the Warsaw zoo in May 2015, and got into a fight with a female bear named Sabina. Witnesses found blood around the enclosure and alerted police, who had to rescue the shoeless, shorts-wearing man from the cage. He managed to survive the fight with only a bite to the arm and a fine for "provoking the animal into aggression."
Man Loses Fight With Lion
In 1989, 32-year-old Australian man Ellie Quo decided to seek out a martial arts matchup that would test his skills in kung fu. Told by his instructor that he had reached a level in his training where "you can kill wild animals with your bare hands," the student decided to follow his instructor’s words to the letter and sought a fight with a lion at the Melbourne Zoo.
In the middle of the night, he snuck into the zoo and scaled the lion enclosure. The next morning, zookeepers found Quo’s fists of fury – and nothing more – in the lions’ enclosure.