The young man broke into the enclosure, took off his clothes and jumped into the middle, horrifying other visitors who witnessed the attack.
Once inside, the lions reportedly immediately pounced on him and began to ‘play’ with him.
At this point, zookeepers intervened in the attack and shot the two lions in order to save his life.
The director of the zoo, Alejandra Montalva, said: ‘We believe that this person entered as a visitor and paid for his ticket. ‘Later he trespassed into an area where the public are not normally allowed and we understand that he forced the roof of the lion’s enclosure. ‘It was from there that he jumped, took off his clothes and started to attract the lions.’
The zoo director said she was ‘deeply affected’ by the deaths of the two lions, a male and a female. ‘The zoo has an established protocol because people’s lives are very important to us,’ said Montalba. She added that there were no fast-acting tranquilizers available to stop the lions from mauling the man.