Thankfully no animals were harmed in this video taken at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad, India, when an intoxicated 35-year-old man climbed into the lion enclosure because he wanted to “shake hands with a lion.” The incident took place on Sunday, May 22 — a full week before the tragic events unfolded at the Cincinnati Zoo which took the life of Harambe the gorilla — but is just now making its way to western media.
Witnesses watched horrified as the man, identified only as “Mukesh,” came precipitously close to a female lion from the moat surrounding the lion enclosure before eventually attracting the attention of the male. Luckily for Mukesh, even big cats apparently hate water, so authorities were able to rescue him before he became cat food.
“The lioness (Radhika) was inside the enclosure but the person was rescued unhurt by its keeper R Papaiah,” the zoo officials said, adding the big cat had moved close to Mukesh but Papaiah diverted the lioness from him. “After preliminary enquiry it was found that Mukesh was in an inebriated state and had jumped inside the enclosure to go near the lion. He has been handed over to Bahadurpura Police,” Dogra said.
It’s unclear what, if any, Mukesh’s punishment will be, but judging by footage taken from the scene, nobody would have blamed the lions, that’s for damn sure.
Here’s another video uploaded by Asian News on Twitter: