Zoo Attacks: 17 Idiots Who Climbed the Fence at the Zoo

Nothing good is going to come of a situation that involves being in a cage with a wild animal at the zoo. Nothing. And yet, people keep putting themselves in situations where – despite warnings from the zoo and others around them – they come face to face with lions, tigers, and bears (oh, my). Some of these people died with a caged animal, others were injured or maimed by a captive wild beast. Obviously, these people weren’t rocket scientists or else they wouldn’t have ended up in such a precarious predicament.
These are 13 of the dumbest, most idiotic, and sometimes drunkest people to ever jump the fence at a zoo. Some of them have lived to tell the tale, others not so much.

A Man Climbed Over A Barrier To Slap A Hippopotamus

Could you ever be this bold to slap a #hippo butt? #STLA#whodidthat #ikyfl #couldyou #daredevil#zoomchallenge pic.twitter.com/AC934unLax

— SomethingToLaughAt (@SomeToLaughAt) August 7, 2018In August 2018, a video taken at the Los Angeles zoo began circulating online. In the video, a man climbs a barrier to get into a hippopotamus’s enclosure. After successfully climbing in, the man slaps the hippo on the rear before climbing back out. The incident sparked a criminal investigation and zoo owners condemned the action as dangerous and inappropriate. After the video surfaced, the zoo put up a “No Trespassing” sign near the exhibit.

Zoo Officials Kill Lions To Save Man

Chilean zoo officials had to shoot and kill two lions after a suicidal man got naked and climbed into their enclosure. According to onlookers, he was taunting the cats and chanting “very apocalyptic, very religious” proverbs.

Officials later found what they thought was a suicide note with his clothes, but the paper mostly had very Christian messaging and drawings of lions. Officials they were forced to kill the lions in order to save him. Crowds watched as the two cats were put down.

Tiger Mauls Lady’s Hand In Halloween Prank

A drunk woman at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE, got her hand bitten by a tiger when she disobeyed zoo rules and reached into its cage to give it a pet on Halloween night, 2015. The 18-year-old Malayan tiger thought the 33-year-old would make a great midnight snack, and the woman was rushed to the hospital after the tiger’s bite caused “severe trauma to her hand.”

Barefoot Man Wants A Bear Hug

A 32-year-old barefoot man wandered into the bear enclosure at the Warsaw zoo in May 2015, and got into a fight with a female bear named Sabina. Witnesses found blood around the enclosure and alerted police, who had to rescue the shoeless, shorts-wearing man from the cage. He managed to survive the fight with only a bite to the arm and a fine for “provoking the animal into aggression.”

Man Loses Fight With Lion

In 1989, 32-year-old Australian man Ellie Quo decided to seek out a martial arts matchup that would test his skills in kung fu. Told by his instructor that he had reached a level in his training where “you can kill wild with your bare hands,” the student decided to follow his instructor’s words to the letter and sought a fight with a lion at the Melbourne Zoo.

In the middle of the night, he snuck into the zoo and scaled the lion enclosure. The next morning, zookeepers found Quo’s fists of fury – and nothing more – in the lions’ enclosure.

Two Men Mauled While Trying to Honor Tiger

Prakesh Tiwari and Suresh Rai decided to visit Shiva, a 13-year-old Bengal Tiger at the Calcutta Zoo, in the course of their New Year’s festivities in 1996. They crossed the moat surrounding his enclosure to present him with a marigold garland.

Not surprisingly, Shiva attacked Rai as he threw the garland around the tiger’s neck. Tiwari intervened by kicking the tiger in the face. Tiwari was killed in the attack; Rai survived.

Man Savaged By Monkeys Trying To Retrieve Cell Phone

In 2007, Zheng Dong was taking pictures of macaque monkeys at the Fuzhou Zoo in China when one of the monkeys snatched his phone. Zheng jumped the fence to retrieve the phone. Three of the monkeys surrounded him and scratched at him until several zookeepers came to his rescue and removed him from the cage.

While Dong made it out alive, his phone was chewed up beyond repair. Instead of thanking the zookeepers profusely for saving him from being eaten by a bunch of monkeys, he sought compensation from the zoo for a new phone.

Drunk Woman Loses Fingers To Bears

In March 2010, Tracy Weiler, her boyfriend, and her three-year-old visited the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL. Once there, Weiler approached the Asiatic black bear enclosure and reached out towards the bear – who promptly bit off her fingers. Tests taken after the incident showed she was drunk.

Woman Jumps Into Polar Bear Moat

In April 2009, a woman jumped into the polar bear enclosure at the Berlin Zoo. The bears immediately began attacking her. She was eventually hoisted to safety and underwent surgery.

Man Loses Arm Trying To Get Better Pictures of Tigers

Jai Prakash Bezbaruah snuck down to the inner enclosure of the Guwahati Zoo to snap some artsy photos in December 2007. Several zookeepers tried to stop Bezbaruah, but before they could intervene, a female tiger grabbed his left arm. She and a male tiger ripped it off.

Bezbaruah was transported immediately to the hospital, but was lost to his injuries before he arrived.


In 2007, a 15-year-old jumped into the panda enclosure at the Beijing Zoo in an attempt to hug a bear named GuGu. The kid extended his arms for a hug, got bit instead, and then bit GuGu back.

Then, in 2009, 28-year-old Zhang Zhio fell into the bear enclosure, trying to catch a toy his son had thrown. something his son was throwing at him. The bear bit his leg, causing serious damage.

Nude Man Fatally Mauled By Bears

The day after a beer festival in 2007, the remains of a naked Serbian man were found in the bear enclosure at the Belgrade Zoo. According to zoo director Vuk Bojovic, “There’s a good chance he was drunk or drugged. Only an idiot would jump into the bear cage.”

Man Jumps From Monorail Into Cage To Hang with Lions

David M. Villalobos, a 25-year-old real estate agent, jumped from a moving monorail at the Bronx Zoo in New York into the cage of a 400-pound tiger to be “with the tigers.” Villalobos broke ribs, his pelvis, and his wrist in the fall, and suffered deep scratches and bruises from the tiger.

Two Men Mauled By Tigers In Quest To Surprise Friend At Work

Trevor James Wearmouth and Thomas Anthony Bryce-Hart, both 27, went to visit their friend at who worked at the Calgary Zoo in 2009 – at night, and without warning or permission. The duo scaled an eight-foot-tall barbed wire fence to gain entry to the zoo, and then decided to stop and pet the tigers. One climbed an additional fence (meant to keep people away from the tigers’ razor-sharp claws) and tried to offer his hand to Vitali, a Serbian tiger.

Vitali attacked the man and dragged him around the cage until the other friend intervened and pulled him to safety. Both men survived and were fined for trespassing.

Man Jumps into Lion Cage Because He’s Sick of Listening To His Wife Talk

Surya Narayan Das was so tired of constantly being yelled at by his wife that he willingly jumped into the lion cage at the Nandankanan Zoo in India in 2012. The execution of his suicide plot backfired, however, when bite wounds to his head, neck, face, legs, and hands failed to end his life.

A Dude Thinks He Hears The Voice Of God, But He Succumbs To The Bites Of Lions

A 22-year-old at a zoo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, thought he was hearing the voice of God tell him to go into the lions’ cage and bull fight them. But as he waved his jacket around like a cape, one of the lions jumped the guy and started trying to munch him. Eventually, zoo employees subdued the lion and the foolish man was taken to the hospital, where he survived.

A Woman Thinks She’s The Crocodile Whisperer… But She’s Not

A woman visiting the zoo in Monterrey, Mexico, hopped the wall into a crocodile enclosure. Approaching the animal, onlookers called out to her in alarm but she laughed them off… until the animal lunged at her. She slipped and fell, which could have been fatal. Luckily for her, however, the crocodile wasn’t feeling up for a full attack, and let her scramble up and back to safety.

A Man Claims He’s Not After Attention Even Though He Snuck Into A Cougar’s Cage To Film Himself Singing To Them

A man spent two days in jail and paid a $350 trespassing fine for jumping over the fence of a cougar cage at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio. He used his GoPro camera and filmed himself singing a song to the cats while giving himself the title of “Cougar Petter.” Despite the fine and jail time, this guy got off easily.

This Man Who Wanted Pet The Polar Bears Caused A Rubber Bullet Shootout

A Denmark man decided to spend some up-close-and-personal time with the polar bears at the zoo in Copenhagen. He jumped into the enclosure where one of the bears promptly stepped on him. Even this didn’t deter the man, though: he reportedly went up to the bear, sniffing and pushing the creature. Thankfully, zoo employees with rubber bullets showed up and the man was rescued before anyone could do more damage to the other.

Two Super Frugal Tourists Risked A Tiger Attack To Avoid An Entrance Fee

On June 10, 2017, two tourists scaled a fence at a zoo in Changsha, China. Their reasoning? They wanted to avoid paying an entrance fee. A safari-themed zoo, wild animals often roam the grounds freely and visitors observe through the safety of a bus. While no animals were roaming when the pair scaled the fence, they were dangerously close to an enclosure containing seven tigers. If a tour bus had ridden by, this would have caused the gate to open – leaving the men susceptible to a mauling.