worker was filmed teasing the lion
through its cage before it gripped his finger and tore it clean off in front of 15 stunned visitors
A “show off” put his hand into a lion enclosure to stroke and tease the growling big cat – but quickly regretted his decision when the beast chomped down on a finger and ripped it off.
In a video posted to Twitter, an attendant at Jamaica Zoo can be seen sticking his finger into the chain-linked cage in front of around 15 visitors.
He ignores the lion’s snarls and even claps at the dangerous animal before screaming expletives after it grips his finger.
The horrified crowd watch on as the zookeeper desperately tries to pull his finger out from the lion’s jaw before it’s fully severed off and he falls backwards.
One traumatised witness told the Jamaica Observer: “When it happened, I thought it was a joke. I didn’t realise the seriousness of it because it’s their job to put on a show.
“Obviously, when he fell on the ground everybody realised that it was serious. Everybody started to panic.”
She explained they had just been on a tour of the zoo and it was coming to an end before the grisly incident.
The stunned woman added: “The entire skin and about the first joint of his finger was gone.
“I ran away from the whole thing, because me nuh like see blood and it was too graphic for me.
“His facial expression when he was walking is like the pain never kicked in.”
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The zoo, located near Santa Cruz, also has zebras, monkeys, crocodiles and llamas.
Representatives of the zoo said they were not aware of the incident but the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals confirmed they were investigating.
Managing director Pamela Lawson said: “We will be going down there and I will be communicating with the National Environment and Planning Agency who has oversight over Jamaica Zoo.”