NEW YORK -- A 400-pound tiger that mauled a man who jumped from a moving monorail train and plummeted over a protective fence at the Bronx Zoo will not be euthanized and "did nothing wrong," the zoo director said.
The mauling happened Friday afternoon in the Wild Asia exhibit, where a train with open sides takes visitors over the Bronx River and through a forest, where they glide along the top edge of a fence past elephants, deer and a tiger enclosure.
Passengers aren't strapped in on the ride, and 25-year-old David Villalobos apparently jumped out of his train car with a leap powerful enough to clear the 16-foot-high perimeter fence.
Villalobos was alone with a male Siberian tiger named Bashuta for about 10 minutes before he was rescued by zoo officials, who used a fire extinguisher to chase the animal away, said zoo director Jim Breheny. He suffered bites and punctures on his arms, legs, shoulders and back and broke an arm and a leg.
"When someone is determined to do something harmful to themselves," Breheny said, "it's very hard to stop that."
Bashuta was returned to a holding area where it usually sleeps at night and will not be euthanized, zoo officials said.
"The tiger did nothing wrong in this episode," Breheny said.
A hospital spokeswoman said the man was in stable condition Saturday but his family has requested that no further information be released.