A tiger in Kiev Zoo has reportedly suffered a stress attack after being assaulted by a drunken male visitor.
According to a zoo press release, the young man scaled the fence around the tiger enclosure at the menagerie in the Ukrainian capital just before closing time on Monday evening.
After landing on the ground inside, he proceeded to hug the six-year-old big cat named “Little Boy” and shouted: “I love tigers.”
The animal, which had been bottle-fed milk in infancy by keepers, was not aggressive because it views humans as “friends”, according to the zoo’s statement. Instead, the tiger reacted by placing its paws on its unlikely guest.
On-site employees responded to the incident and the man was sent to hospital for examination.
However, The Moscow Times reported that a zoo employee told Ukrainian television that “the tiger suffered from more anxiety than the man, who was joking and laughing when the ambulance took him away”.
The “poor, unhappy tiger” was said to be seen lying down and curled up on the floor until late that evening.
The young man involved had previously tried to enter the enclosure of a tiger named Rena, but had been stopped by zoo officials.
Kiev Zoo stressed that there was no risk to visitors following the incident.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies