NEW YORK — A man was mauled by a 400-pound tiger at the Bronx Zoo on Friday after he leaped from a moving monorail train and plummeted over a protective fence.
The man was alone with the tiger for about 10 minutes before he was rescued by zoo officials, who used a fire extinguisher to chase the animal away. He suffered bites and puncture wounds on his arms, legs, shoulders and back and broke an arm and a leg.
"If not for the quick response by our staff and their ability to perform well in emergency situations, the outcome would have been very different," zoo director Jim Breheny said.
The man, 25, was mauled by an 11-year-old male Siberian tiger named Bashuta, which has been at the zoo for three years. The man was conscious and talking after the mauling, Breheny said. Police said he was hospitalized in critical condition. Officials believe he was visiting the zoo by himself.
"When someone is determined to do something harmful to themselves," Breheny said, "it's very hard to stop that."
The tiger that mauled the man was returned to a holding area where it usually sleeps at night and will not be euthanized, zoo officials said.
"The tiger did nothing wrong in this episode," Breheny said.