Earlier this week, a man was killed by tigers at the Copenhagen Zoo after he climbed a fence and went across a moat to access the enclosure. The victim has been identified as a 20-year-old of Afghan descent. He was living in Copenhagen at the time of his death, which occurred when he was savaged by three tigers after breaking into the zoo in the early hours of the morning.
The man was found deceased, surrounded by the tigers, when the zoo staff arrived for work in the morning. Police have yet to rule out suicide as a reason why the man entered the tiger enclosure. The man lived by himself in a flat near his family and was preparing to finish high school.
‘We have cried all day’, a family member said.
‘I’m absolutely shattered’, a friend said. ‘He was a really, really nice guy.’
The man was bitten by the tigers on his chest, thigh, throat and face, according to Superintendent Lars Borg. Borg said, ‘We received an emergency call at about 7.30am that a person had been found lying in the tiger pen and that three tigers were surrounding that person. The tigers attacked him and killed him. It is likely that a bite to the throat was the primary reason for his death. He has been in the water and the animals must have seen that and attacked him.’
Detectives working the case are sifting through video footage to figure out how the man entered the tiger enclosure. Psychologists were called in to talk to staff members who found the body, according to the zoo’s chief executive, Steffen Straede. The zoo is 152 years old and Straede said that this is the first incident of its kind. He also said that he is not planning to review the security of the zoo because of the incident. ‘If a person really wants to get in there, we cannot prevent it from happening.’