Drunk man breaks into lion enclosure for a selfie, gets mauled to death

It’s always important to respect an animal’s space. Even animals in captivity can be dangerous if improperly approached — especially big predators.

Tragically, one man found this out the hard way: he was mauled to death after breaking into a zoo lion’s enclosure.

According to the Times of India, a man identified as 38-year-old Prahlad Gurjar scaled a four feet safety wall at the Tirupati Zoo, in Andhra Pradesh, India.

He was reportedly drunk at the time, and ignored the warnings of a staff member, snuck into a no-entry area and jumped into the lion’s enclosure.

Lion in zoo in Tirupati (Shutterstock)

Within 10 minutes, a 12-year-old lion dragged Gurjar into a corner and mauled him to death. Lions are protective and territorial animals, they won’t hesitate to attack a human if they encroach on their space or appear to be a threat — and humans are no match for these ferocious big cats.

According to Times of India, the lion was caged while authorities retrieved the body. Prahlad, a driver by profession, had arrived in Tirupati on February 13 and police had been investigating his activities.

Tirupati Zoo staff said that they would be reviewing their security measures after the incident, but stressed that Prahlad had willfully entered the lion enclosure despite precautions and warnings.

It was also reported that Prahlad did the dangerous stunt to get a “selfie.”

“Prahlad intentionally marched towards the enclosure which has a four feet wall and six feet tall iron fencing and jumped into it,” zoo curator C Selvam said. “We have taken utmost precaution to prevent such incidents. We will once again review the security measures to prevent such incidents in the future.”

Zoos and wildlife parks that hold dangerous animals like lions impose strict restrictions to make sure no one gets too close, but it doesn’t always stop thrill seekers from defying common sense and jumping into the literal lion’s den.

Bhavyadeep Vashisht / Shutterstock.com

In 2019, the Bronx Zoo had a similar incident in which a woman hopped a fence to get face-to-face with a lion. While she wasn’t harmed, she was widely criticized for recklessly defying the rules and putting her life in danger.

Entering an animal’s enclosure not only puts your life in danger, but also the animals’ life, as sometimes animals are killed to protect human trespassers — such as in the famous case of Harambe the gorilla.

While it’s always unfortunate when someone dies like this, this man very recklessly put his life at risk by breaking into the lion’s den — we can’t blame this animal for following his instincts and seeing him as a threat.

It’s a reminder to always respect animals and follow safety precautions. Please share this story!