Lions Shot Dead At Santiago National Zoo, Chile, After Man Enters Enclosure

The man was seriously injured.

Two lions were shot dead by staff at a zoo in Chile after a man stripped naked and jumped into their enclosure on Saturday in what is believed to have been a suicide attempt.

The 20-year-old man, who is said to be suffering from mental health problems, reportedly climbed onto the rooftop of the lion enclosure at Santiago National Zoo before forcing his way into the pen and taunting the animals.

Staff shot and killed two of the lions with live ammunition and the man was shot with a tranquiliser dart, the Guardian reports.

<strong>Two lions were killed after a man jumped into their pen at a zoo in Chile. (File image)</strong>
Two lions were killed after a man jumped into their pen at a zoo in Chile. (File image)
bilderlounge/Tips RF via Getty Images

The man, who was carrying what appeared to be a suicide note, was seriously injured after being mauled. He has been taken to hospital.

Visitors to the zoo witnessed the attack.

A spokesman for the zoo said that they were "forced to implement all our security protocols", the Independent reports.

The official statement continues: "[The death of the lions] is deeply painful for each of us and especially for every one of the officials of the zoo, who care for them day by day.

"Despite the pain which led to this action, it was necessary to preserve the life of the individual, [who] was removed from the premises and taken to a clinic to receive the appropriate care, where he remains at the moment.

"We want to clarify that the halls of our zoo are absolutely safe for our regular visitors and that, in cases like this, in which a person violates the security protocols of the enclosure, are absolutely out of the ordinary."

Useful websites and helplines:
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email:
  • HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41