A video has captured the extraordinary moment a lion bit off a zoo worker’s finger after he tried to pet it through the cage
This is the moment stunned visitors witnessed a lion bite off a zoo worker’s finger.
The terrifying incident happened at Jamaica Zoo, in St Elizabeth on Friday, when the man put his hand through the cage of the lion, apparently trying to pet it.
According to a visitor, who did not want to be named, the lion bit off the entire top section of his finger, from the first joint.
She told the Jamaica Observer, around 15 people were watching at the time.
The woman explained that a tour of the zoo had come to an end and the worker was trying to impress the crowd.
“When it happened, I thought it was a joke,” she said. “I didn’t think it was serious. I didn’t realise the seriousness of it, because it’s their job to put on a show,” she said.
“Obviously, when he fell on the ground everybody realised that it was serious. Everybody started to panic,” she added.
The worker is seen screaming expletives as he wrestles to free his finger from the lion’s mouth, before finally breaking free and falling to the ground.
The visitor said she and other were left stunned but the incident.
“The entire skin and about the first joint of his finger was gone,” she said.
“I ran away from the whole thing, because me nuh like see blood and it was too graphic for me,” she added.
The zoo worker is said to have got up and walked to a vehicle before leaving the zoo.
“His facial expression when he was walking is like the pain never kicked in,” said the visitor.
The attraction has a host of animals including llama, zebras, monkeys, crocodiles and toucans.
The Jamaica Observer contacted Jamaica Zoo who said they were not aware of the incident.
A senior police source was also apparently unaware of the attack.
Managing director at the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Pamela Lawson told the newspaper she would be looking into the incident.
“We will be going down there and I will be communicating with the National Environment and Planning Agency who has oversight over Jamaica Zoo,” she said.
Earlier this year, a tiger attacked a zoo worker who was not authorised to be near the big cats when he suddenly entered an enclosure.
The 50-year-old was rushed to hospital after being mauled at Wooten’s Airboats, in the Everglades, US in March.
He suffered severe injuries from the attack in Florida but miraculously survived.
The employee, who was not allowed inside the cage with the tiger, reportedly walked in when the fearsome animal was about to be fed, local authorities said.