Social media users are today (May 21) up in arms over video footage of an incident in which an individual had his right ring finger ripped off by a lion at what appears to be a zoo facility in Jamaica.
In the footage, the man is seen taunting the caged adult lion as the captivated audience looked on.
For several seconds, the attendant teased the massive predator with his hand, clapping and gesturing to get its attention.
Things take a turn for the worse after the lion’s patience with the ‘game’ wore thin, and it bit down on his finger following one last brush against its teeth.
The man exclaimed and the audience, seemingly not aware of the danger, stood with mouths agape as a literal tug-of-war was waged between the attendant and the lion.
He repeatedly screamed expletives as the lion growled, his movements becoming ever more urgent and desperate.
Even after bracing both feet against the foundation of the wire-mesh fence, the man was no match for the brute strength of the lion and, for the visiting audience, the horrific realisation came too late.
The man’s hand was finally freed, sans ring finger, as surprised expressions erupted from the audience.
WATCH, VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED:
While Twitter users speculated about the location at which the incident occurred, a representative from Jamaica Zoo would neither confirm nor deny that the mishap took place at their Lacovia, St Elizabeth compound.
The representative further noted that a statement would only come from the manager, who was not due at Jamaica Zoo until 6:00 to 7:00 pm.
At the same time, when the St Andrew-based Hope Zoo was contacted by Our Today this afternoon, the newsroom was told no lion-related incidents occurred there.
From all indications, there was no consensus of sympathy from Twitter users, many of whom felt the agitating of the lion was not necessary and only made its actions towards the alleged attendant worse.