Feb 05 2016

Zoo Fails

Accidents happen, especially when wild animals are concerned, and while usually people have enough self preservation to keep themselves and others safe, these 8 zoo fails prove that that isn’t always possible.

8. Binky the Leg Mangler

This is Binky, the polar bear. He was found, orphaned, on Alaska’s North Slope as a cub, and was taken to the Anchorage Alaska zoo where he died at twenty of a parasitic disease. In his time at the zoo, Binky got quite the reputation, first for biting a zoo worker’s finger off in 1980, and next for his penchant for mauling the legs of idiot tourists. The first leg mangling occurred in 1994, Kathryn Warburton, an Australian tourist, jumped over two safety rails to get a better picture. Binky didn’t like that at all, sticking his head through the rails, breaking her leg and biting her several times before she could be pulled out. As a temporary trophy, Binky held onto the woman’s shoe, pictured here, for three days after the attack. A few weeks later, Binky got another yummy leg to chomp on, in the form of a drunk teenager trying to swim in his pool with him.

7. Gu Gu The One-Upper
Gu Gu the giant panda of the Beijing Zoo sees Binky’s two leg maulings and raises him a third, because he’s not very fun at parties, despite being adorable. In 2006, wanting to hug the furry creature, a man climbed into Gu Gu’s enclosure and was subsequently bitten on both legs. In 2007, a drunk fifteen year old tried his luck in the panda’s domain, and was treated to Gu Gu’s standard response, bites on both his legs, chunks of flesh ripped from the bone. Finally, in 2009, a father climbed into the cage to retrieve his child’s dropped toy, and Gu Gu, staying true to the rule of threes, bit him on both legs, and tools had to be used to pry the bear’s teeth apart.

6. Barefoot bear brawler
The bear enclosure in Warsaw, Poland’s zoo is actually located a few hundred feet away from the rest of the zoo, located near a busy street. And as of May, 2015, when the following fail story occurred, there weren’t security cameras for some reason. Enter, the barefoot bear brawler, a man in shorts with no shoes who climbed into the enclosure for the fight of his life. Witness statements differ on what happened first, but regardless, the unknown man swung some punches at Sabina, a 440 pound female bear, and she bit him in the arm. Apparently the 32 year old then found his way out of the enclosure and was found a few days later at a hospital being treated for his arm wound and refusing to answer police about why on earth he tussled with the giant animal, a tussle which, according to experts, could have gone much, much worse.

5. God Loves Lion Fights
Anytime a story starts with “God told me to do it,” you know it’s going to be bonkers. And the story behind this zoo fail is no exception. Lucas Tomas, a 22 year old fool, was reported by witnesses as holding his jacket out like a bullfighter for two lions in Buenos Aires’ zoo after climbing into their cage. Because lions are annoyed by stupidity AND cliches, one pounced on him and bit him repeatedly until zoo workers could tranquilize the animal. Tomas was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment to his face and arms, and is being dually treated by a psychologist, because apparently he believes God told him to enter the enclosure. Maybe the big guy misses Ancient Rome.

4. Attempted suicide by Lion
For all of you having relationship problems, I promise, couples counselling or breaking up and moving on with your life are way better options than, say, attempting to commit suicide via lion. Let me explain. In 2012, an Indian man fought with his wife, and left the occasion deeply saddened. It didn’t seem worth it to keep living, so the man purchased a ticket to a nearby zoo on a quiet Friday morning, stripped down to his underwear, and entered the lion enclosure, thinking if he had to end it all, this was the best option. Lions aren’t good at suicide interventions, so of course they attacked him as soon as he entered their territory, rendering him unconscious quickly. Thankfully zoo officials lured the lions away and rescued him before it got worse, but the most disturbing part about this story is

that over 20 people witnessed the man entering the cage but no one tried to stop him.

3. An accident waiting to happen
This next zoo fail is actually just a cautionary entry, because there is no way this is a good idea long term. After all the stories of people getting hurt or dying by going into the cages of wild animals at zoos, including the ones we’ve already covered, what genius thought “huh, maybe we should LET people go into the cages.” This particular photo was taken in Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch, New Zealand, the only open-range zoo in the country, and for those of you with a death wish, you too can partake in this terrifying attraction. Called “The Lion Encounter,” visitors can get up close and personal while watching ferocious felines feed.

2. Ontario Wolf Caretaker Attack
This is where the list turns deadly, so we won’t linger long. In 1996, a 24 year old woman was hired as caretaker for a pack of five North American grey wolves. For reasons her coworkers and fiance could never explain, the woman, the avid wolf lover with a wildlife biology degree entered the heavily forested wolf enclosure by herself, and the wolves, who were not socialized to humans, attacked, and her body was found several hours later, clothes torn off. The wolves were euthanized and tested for rabies, but the test came back negative.

1. Seaworld Killer Orca
Sea World has long been a controversial subject in animal cruelty circles, and rightly so, but the animals in captivity can be just as deadly as the human workers. Take Tilikum, nicknamed Tilli, a bull orca employed by the SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. The largest orca in captivity, Tilli has killed three people in his time at the popular aquatic theme park. First, a marine biology student who slipped accidentally into the tank, second, a visitor who had snuck into the tank, and finally, a trainer just after one of his shows. Why anyone would go near this animal is beyond logic, but his position as SeaWorld’s “chief sperm bank” has kept him, frighteningly, performing to this day.