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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: Gatvol lion at Jamaica Zoo bites off man’s finger

The man taunted the lion which prompted it to attack

There are calls for Jamaica Zoo in St. Elizabeth to provide better care and facilities for its animals after a man who taunted a lion was attacked by the beast.

A video of the incident, which has since gone viral, shows an African lion roaring and visibly angry in its enclosure while the man continues to tease the wild cat to the delight of some female spectators, who were filming the entire incident.

The man than nonchalantly continues to poke his finger through the mesh fencing which irritates the lion even more.  

The situation goes horribly wrong when the king of the jungle grabs the man’s finger in its massive jaw.

As the man screams and is seen using all his strength to pull the animal off to let go of his hand, the lion refuses to budge.

After what seem like an endless struggle, the lion eventually releases the man’s finger and he falls to the ground in excruciating pain.

It is believed the man lost his finger in the scuffle with the lion.

The video has generated criticism on several social media platforms with many questioning the treatment of the animals at the zoo.

Robert Scott, a tradesman from South Africa who is familiar with the incident, said the man was taunting the lion, which prompted the beast to attack.

“He was taunting this lion and showing off to these women and the lion, who must be in a pretty bad frame of mind permanently being kept under those conditions, and you can just make out its in very poor conditions.”

“The lion as they say was ‘gatvol’ for this and took a snap at him and he didn’t realise how quick lions are and it caught him by the finger,” said Scott.

In a statement published on the Marca website, the Jamaica Zoo said the actions displayed in the video by a contractor is tragic and does not represent the safety procedures and policies that must be adhered to at all times at the facility.

“We are currently reviewing the video, with a view of preventing any future recurrences. It is an unfortunate event that should never have happened, and we the family of Jamaica Zoo are doing everything to assist the gentleman in moving forward.”

The Jamaica Zoo has also reassured the public that it prides itself on the love, care, and professional treatment the animals receive.

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