Man mauled by tiger at Bronx Zoo pleads not guilty - New York News

Man mauled by tiger at Bronx Zoo pleads not guilty

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The man who jumped into the tiger exhibit at the Bronx Zoo and was mauled said he had "a desire to be one with the tiger." The man who jumped into the tiger exhibit at the Bronx Zoo and was mauled said he had "a desire to be one with the tiger."

NEW YORK (AP) - A man who jumped into a tiger den at the Bronx Zoo and survived a mauling has pleaded not guilty to trespassing charges.

The Bronx district attorney's office said David Villalobos was arraigned Friday and released until another court appearance March 12.

Villalobos, 25, had told investigators that his Sept. 21 leap was not a suicide attempt but "a desire to be one with the tiger." He jumped from a monorail car in the zoo's Wild Asia exhibit and cleared a 16-foot-high fence.

A 400-pound Siberian tiger named Bashuta attacked him. He suffered bites and several other injuries.

He was rescued by zoo officials, who used a fire extinguisher to chase the animal away.

According to the complaint, Villalobos told an officer, "I was testing my natural fear."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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