A Jamaican zoo has issued a statement in response to a viral video showing a man’s finger being bitten by one of the plant’s lions.
The man, whose identity has not been revealed, is said to be the contractor of the Jamaica Zoo, located in the Burton area of Lakovia, Jamaica.
As shown in the viral excerpt, the contractor applies a part of his right hand through the galvanized fence with a chain link to caress a male African lion.
The contractor manages to caress the growling lion once, as the spectators watch him and warn him to be careful.
But when he spread the lion’s mane a second time, the lion bit the contractor’s middle finger – and held on to the accessory with its strong jaw.
In a state of visible panic, the contractor repeatedly tries to pull his finger until the lion finally releases it.
The graphic and outrageous video seems to show that viewers were in disbelief – and questioned whether the moment was real.
On Sunday, May 22, the Jamaica Zoo posted a viral clip on Facebook and Instagram after the video was released on these two social media platforms, among others.
“The actions shown in the video by a contractor of the Jamaica Zoo [are] “They do not represent the procedures and safety policies that must be followed at all times at the Jamaica Zoo,” the zoo wrote.
“We are currently reviewing the video to prevent future recurrences.”
The zoo continued, “It’s an unfortunate event that should never have happened, and we, the family of the Jamaica Zoo, are doing everything we can to help the gentlemen move on.”
A statement from the Jamaica Zoo said the facility wanted to “reassure the public” that it was a “safe place” for families.
She also said the facility prides itself on providing “love, care and professional care” for its animals.
There are eight animal exhibits at the Jamaica Zoo, according to its website. The facility has swans, hummingbirds, African lions, bunnies, crocodiles, monkeys, red macaw parrots and yellow parrots.
Lions have a biting power that can range from 650 to 1,000 pounds per square inch (psi) depending on their age, size, sex and subspecies, according to AZ Animals, an online animal encyclopedia.
Safety sources published by the CDC state that the public should refrain from touching and feeding wild animals, including those found in zoos.
Supervised animal encounters with non-predators may be an exception in some cases, but lions are generally not considered safe in untrained areas. Those who wish for more information can consult the CDC “Animal Exhibit Visitors & Managers” website for more information.