Suicide by tiger: Man, 20, eaten alive in big cat enclosure after breaking into zoo at nightVictim was found dead surrounded by three Siberian tigersPolice have not ruled out suicide as a possible motive
A man was killed by tigers at Copenhagen Zoo today after he scaled a fence and crossed a moat to gain access to the predators” enclosure.
The victim, who has been identified as a 20-year-old of Afghan descent living in Copenhagen, was savaged by three tigers after he broke into the zoo in the Danish capital in the early hours.
He was found dead surrounded by the Siberian tigers when staff arrived for work.
Grisly: Police investigate why a man broke into the tiger enclosure at Copenhagen Zoo last night. He was savaged by the three Siberian tigers who live there and was found dead by staff this morning
Tourists watch a tiger prowl around his enclosure at Copenhagen Zoo this morning. It is unclear whether this animal was involved in the man”s death
It is unclear why the man, entered the enclosure but police have not ruled out suicide as a possible motive.
According to Danish media the young man lived alone in a flat near his family in central Copenhagen and was just about to finish high school.
Danish newspaper Ekstrabladet spoke to the young man’s family and relatives earlier today.
‘We have cried all day’, a member of his family told the paper.
‘I’m absolutely shattered’, one of his friends said.
‘He was a really, really nice guy’
Superintendent Lars Borg revealed that a post-mortem examination has shown the man was bitten on the thigh, chest, face and throat.
Investigation: Police secure the entrance to the zoo. It is unclear why the man, who has not yet been identified, entered the enclosure but detectives have not ruled out suicide as a possible motive
Fearsome predators: Two tigers rest in their enclosure in Copenhagen Zoo in 2005
He said: “We received an emergency call at about 7.30am that a person had been found lying in the tiger pen and that three tigers were surrounding that person.
“The tigers attacked him and killed him. It is likely that a bite to the throat was the primary reason for his death.
“He has been in the water and the animals must have seen that and attacked him.”
Detectives are now trawling through CCTV footage to try to exactly establish how the man accessed the enclosure.
Steffen Straede, the zoo”s chief executive, said psychologists have been called to talk to staff who found the body.
He added that this is the first incident of its kind in the zoo”s 152-year history and that he has no plans to review security.
He said: “If a person really wants to get in there, we cannot prevent it from happening.”