Seminole, Florida - A New York man is reportedly in critical condition, mauled by a tiger after jumping into an enclosure at the Bronx Zoo.
Zoo visitors watched in horror as a man in his mid 20's leaped off a monorail high above the Wild Asia exhibit at the Bronx Zoo.
Eye witnesses say the man was almost immediately pounced on by a massive Siberian Tiger.
"When someone is determined to do something harmful to themselves, it's very hard to stop them," said Bronx Zoo Director Jim Breheny.
Officials say handlers used a fire extinguisher to scare the tiger away from the man until they were able to secure the animal.
"Because of the professionalism of zoo staff, we were able to keep a bad situation from turning into a real tragedy."
"If the cats were going to kill, the guy would have been dead," said well known animal conservationist Vernon Yates.
Yates who has three tigers of his own says the tiger in New York was most likely playing with the intruder, not trying to kill.
"They are big cats, and it becomes a game and the more someone runs and struggles, just like a little house cat with a mouse the bigger the game gets to be," said Yates who lays blame squarely on the man who jumped into the exhibit.
"When anyone does something that stupid, you have death by cops, there is death by animal. That to me is all they could be looking for. There's just no other reason for it."
Beau Zimmer, 10 News