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Man Attacked By Tiger At Bronx Zoo After Jumping Into Exhibit, Spawns Trending Topic On Twitter

By Max Eddy on September 21, 2012 5:14 PM EDT 0

Amur Tigers
Amur, or Siberian tigers, like these may have been involved in the attack. (Photo: Wikipedia / Wilma Verburg)

A man in his 20s is reportedly in critical condition after being attacked by tigers at New York City's Bronx Zoo. The astonishing attack created a trending topic on Twitter.

Around 3:30 this afternoon, a man jumped or fell into the tiger den. Some accounts differ as to whether the man jumped of his own free will or fell accidentally. According to Gothamist, early reports described the man as "emotionally disturbed." However, recent updates from the New York Fire Department confirmed the incident though the man's intent is still unclear.

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How the man entered the enclosure remains hazy at best. Some reports say that he climbed a fence, though the NY Times blog and others are now saying that the man may have jumped from a monorail.

However, nearly all reports agree that once in the enclosure, the man was attacked by one or more of the zoo's tigers. "It sounds like he had some severe deep cuts to his back and a severe injury to a leg," said FDNY spokesperson Frank Dwyer as quoted by the New York Times blog.

Other reports suggest that the man lost his foot or leg in the attack. News outlets agree that the man is listed in critical condition after being taken to Jacobi Hospital.

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The shocking news has resulted in a barrage of Tweets, mostly from surprised readers. The attention has sent "Bronx Zoo" up Twitter's trending topics. While the zoo will surely not be relishing the publicity, this isn't the first time the Bronx Zoo has received negative attention on Twitter. Last year, a cobra escaped its enclosure and was considered "at large" for six days until it was found less than 100 feet away from its home. During that time, news of the snake's escape was abuzz on Twitter, spawning a highly successful parody account.

Today's news is far more serious, and casts a pall over the Bronx Zoo's announcement from this past May of new Amur tiger cubs born at the zoo.

The Bronx Zoo is expected to issue a statement later today.

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