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Dead man found in lions' pen at zoo

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Melbourne Zoo workers found the mauled body of a man in the lions' enclosure, police said Sunday. Officials said the man had been partly eaten.

Animal curator Bob Anderson had arrived to feed the lions Saturday when he discovered the dead man's body with a lion sitting near it, police said.

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'He had been fairly well mutilated,' Detective Sergeant Neil Beeson said. 'The only parts intact were the head, shoulders, both arms and one leg. The rest was fairly well eaten.'

Police said the man wore only pants and had left his other clothes folded near the 20-foot fence which he had to climb to enter the compound housing four lions -- two male and two female.

Investigators said the man was about 35 years old and a native Romanian, but refused to identify him until relatives in Romania were notified.

Police said the man had spent time in a local psychiatric hospital, but said they did not know why he entered the lion pen. They said there were no witnesses.

Zoo Director Graham Shotter said it was unclear if the man broke in the zoo overnight or stayed in the park after it closed Friday.

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In a separate incident at the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, 300 miles west of Sydney, a tiger mauled a 6-year-old girl Saturday when she put her right hand through a fence. Chantelle Owen was in good condition after a two-hour operation on her hand, hospital officials said.

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