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N.Y. man mauled by tiger faces charge

Sept. 22, 2012 at 10:57 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- A man mauled by a tiger at New York's Bronx Zoo is facing a criminal trespassing charge, police said Saturday.

Police said they issued a desk appearance ticket for David Villalobos, 25, of Mahopac, N.Y., who was hospitalized in stable condition with multiple injuries, most of which he sustained when he jumped from a monorail into the zoo's tiger enclosure Friday.

The New York Times reported police spokesman Paul J. Browne said in an e-mail that Villalobos appeared to have a "passion for cats."

Browne said Villalobos told investigators he entered the tiger habitat because he wanted to be "one with the tiger." The tiger he encountered was a 400-pound Siberian named Bachuta.

Besides being mauled by the big cat, Villalobos' injuries included a broken pelvis, a broken right shoulder, a broken right rib, a collapsed lung and a broken right ankle.

"When an NYPD sergeant asked Villalobos yesterday why he had jumped into the tiger preserve, he replied that 'everyone in life makes choices,'" Browne wrote. "He recalled being dragged by the tiger by the foot, and afterwards being able to pet the tiger."

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