Tags: copenhagen | zoo | polar bear | rubber | bullets

Copenhagen Zoo Polar Bear Backed Off With Rubber Bullets After Man Jumps in Pit

Image: Copenhagen Zoo Polar Bear Backed Off With Rubber Bullets After Man Jumps in Pit
(Evesy21/Dollar Photo Club)

By    |   Thursday, 03 Dec 2015 10:25 AM

Copenhagen Zoo staff members fired rubber bullets to hold back a polar bear and rescue a man who jumped into the animal's enclosure Wednesday.

According to the Daily Mail, a "mentally unstable" Lithuanian man in his twenties leaped into the polar bear enclosure at the Copenhagen Zoo around noon. After falling into the pit, the man reportedly walked toward the bear.

"[The jumper] went up to the bear and it examined him by sniffing him and shoving him, and he sustained some superficial injuries," zoo spokesman Jacob Munkholm said, according to Agence France-Presse.

Workers first tried to distract the animal by yelling at until firearms arrived with the rubber bullets.

Zookeepers fired several rounds to chase the bear off so they could enter the enclosure and free the man. Some witnesses told broadcaster DR that the man seemed to enter the area to take a picture, The Local reported.

"It didn't take more than a minute and a half from the alarm going off when he entered the facility until our guards . . . shot rubber bullets at the bear and it moved away from him," Munkholm said.

Zoo staff members and schoolchildren who saw what happened were offered counseling after the incident, Munkholm told AFP.

At the same zoo in July 2012, Siberian tigers mauled a 21-year-old man to death after he entered the animals' enclosed area, according to the Daily Mail.

The Copenhagen Zoo has more than 3,000 animals at its facility, according to its website. Snakes, crocodiles, marmosets, hornbills, dwarf deer, free-flying birds, and butterflies make up some of the wide variety the animals at the zoo, which includes a large rainforest exhibit.

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Copenhagen Zoo staff members fired rubber bullets to hold back a polar bear and rescue a man who jumped into the animal's enclosure Wednesday.
copenhagen, zoo, polar bear, rubber, bullets
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2015-25-03
Thursday, 03 Dec 2015 10:25 AM
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