A mentally ill man wanted to improve the lives of caged tigers at a local zoo by offering them himself to eat.
Zoo keepers managed to save the life of the man, named Yang Jinhai, after he was dragged by the shirt by one of the Bengali white tigers at a zoo in the Chengdu, Sichuan province.
After visiting his local zoo, Yang wrote online how he found it depressing to see the "noble and magnificent tigers" living in such humble surroundings, where they were caged and unable to follow their natural instincts to hunt and kill.
He then announced that he had decided to sacrifice himself in order to provide the Bengal tigers with support.
Eyewitness Feng Lin told the CEN news agency: "He climbed up the outside of the cage and jumped inside expecting that the tigers I assume would pounce on him. Instead the two tigers, a male and a female, seemed more nervous than anything else and the female actually ran off.
"He then tried to antagonise the tigers by pulling faces at them. Eventually he was attacked by the male where he was cut after being scratched and bitten before he could be rescued by zoo keepers who fired a tranquilliser dart at the male tiger."
They the 27-year-old out of the cage and he luckily escaped with minor injuries and was taken away by police. Two tigers were later tranquilized by zoo staff.
The man had apparently been optimistic about starting a new life after getting a job as a security guard. But he quickly found the job boring and monotonous and moved instead to a job in a printing factory where he also then resigned, saying that he felt there was more to life.
Yang’s family told local media Yang had been depressed for a long time and said that he had been taken to a home where he was given psychiatric counselling to cope with his problems.