A man is in a critical condition after he was mauled by a tiger at the Bronx Zoo, in New York, this afternoon.
The New York Times said the man leapt into the tiger den from a monorail in an apparent suicide attempt.
Zoo staff had to capture the tiger and restrain it before they could go to the man's aid.
He lost his left foot, had his back bitten and a fang punctured his lung, the report said.
NBC reported the man, aged in his 20s, is in critical condition.
It is believed he was attacked by Katharina, an Amur tiger, who is particularly vicious because she has recently given birth to cubs.
The man was riding the zoo’s monorail when he jumped out of his seat as the train passed over the tiger’s den, officials said.
Other passengers watched in horror as he fell 20 feet into the tiger's den.
He reportedly told his rescuers that he had jumped into the den on purpose because he ‘wanted to die’, reported DNAInfo.
The Daily Mail reported a witness tweeted, 'Someone jumped the gate at the bronx zoo n got maulled by a tiger now in jacobi ER.#lmfao.' [sic]
It said initial reports suggest that the man may be emotionally disturbed.
The New York Times quotes the director of the zoo, Jim Breheny, who said: “Our emergency response staff immediately went to the site and used a CO2 fire extinguisher to move the tiger away from the person."
“Once the tiger backed off, the man was instructed to roll under a hot wire to safety. The keepers were able to call the tiger into its off exhibit holding area and safely secured the animal. The man, about 25 years of age, conscious and talking, was taken to the hospital by ambulance.”