A lion bit off a zookeeper’s finger after he stuck his hand into the animal’s cage in a shocking video.
Terrified visitors watched in horror as the man was left in agony as the lion chomped down on his hand.
Jamaica Zoo confirmed the shocking incident and said they are “assisting” the man involved in the viral video.
Footage of the bite has been widely shared online as the animal park assured it will work to prevent any “future occurrences”.
The clip shows the man – described by the zoo as a “contractor” – ignoring the lion’s growls.
He appears to tease the snarling beast by touching its face and foolishly sticking his fingers into his mouth.
Baring its massive fangs and growling, the worker tempts fate and once again shoves his hand into the lion’s mouth.
And then it all goes wrong as the big cat chomps down.
The man was left desperately trying to pull back his hand as the lion held onto his middle finger.
He grabs hold of his right arm with his left hand and attempts to wrench himself away from the cage.
Bracing himself with his foot against the concrete block part of the enclosure, he then pulls back.
And his finger is ripped off and left with the lion – and it’s unclear what happened next to the damaged digit.
In a statement, the park told Jamaica News: “The actions displayed in a video by a contractor to Jamaica Zoo are tragic and do not represent the safety procedures and policies that must be adhered to at all times.”
The zoo added they are assisting the man and said it hopes visitors continue to support them.
“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,” one witness told The Jamaica Observer.
The zoo, located near Santa Cruz, said it was not aware of the incident – but it is being investigated by the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Managing director Pamela Lawson said: “We will be going down there and I will be communicating with the National Environment and Planning Agency which has oversight over Jamaica Zoo.”