NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The man who jumped into the tiger habitat at the Bronx Zoo last year to “be one with the tiger,” is due in court this week on trespassing charges.
David Villalobos, 25, jumped from a monorail car and into the zoo’s Wild Asia exhibit on Sept. 21. He told authorities that his leap was not a suicide attempt.
According to the complaint, Villalobos told an officer, “I was testing my natural fear.”
He was attacked by a 400-pound Siberian tiger named Bachuta. He suffered bites and several other injuries.
Villalobos was alone with a male tiger for about 10 minutes before he was rescued by zoo officials, who used a fire extinguisher to chase the animal away.
The Putnam County man told the New York Post he sustained most of his injuries from his jump from the monorail and over a 16-foot-tall fence.
Villalobos’ mother told the Post that the tiger likely saved her son’s life, because it exposed what she described as a bad reaction to the drug Adderall.
Villalobos pleaded not guilty when was arraigned in January on criminal trespass and trespass charges. He is due back in court on Tuesday.
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