LISBON, PORTUGAL — A man, apparently wanting to commit suicide, jumped into the lion pit at Lisbon zoo where he was attacked and killed by a lioness.

Zoo officials said the 61-year-old man climbed a five-yard-high wall Thursday and leaped into the pit, home to 10 lions.

He ignored warnings and instead began bothering the lions.

He ignored warnings from gardeners to remain still and instead began bothering the lions. The group's oldest lion, a 10-year-old female, then attacked and killed the man.

"She broke his neck ... and he was dead instantly," zoo administrator Fernando Paisana told Reuters. He said the man's body was not mauled or eaten.

A police spokesman said the man had been distraught about the recent suicide of his son and the zoo death was an apparent suicide.


Suicide by Croc:
Agence France-Presse, Aug 13, 2002
  Despondent zoo visitor decides to share her grief — with hundreds of crocodiles.