Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Man Who Leapt Into Tiger Habitat Fixated on Mother Nature, New Age Pseudoscience

David Villalobos. Personal photo.

On Friday, David Villalobos, 25, leapt from an elevated train and into a tiger habitat at the Bronx zoo, where he was promptly mauled by a 400 pound male Siberian tiger named Bachuta. When asked why he committed this dangerous and seemingly senseless act, Villalobos, who’s since been charged with trespassing, said he “wanted to be one with the tiger.” The real estate agent suffered serious injuries, including bites on his arms, legs and back, several broken bones and a collapsed lung. He was hospitalized and is expected to recover.

When news broke of Villalobos’ misadventure, attention turned to his Facebook profile, which is open to the public. Prior to his leap of faith into the maw of a tiger, Villalobos displayed a marked interest in oneness with mother nature and New Age philosophy that involves pulsating spirals, third eyes and black holes. In the “about” section of his profile, Villalobos writes, “Fear is irrelevant, there is no greater bliss than living in My Divine Light and in the Womb of My Unconditional Love.”

Police said Villalobos was charged because he went ”beyond a perimeter security fence and an electrified wire designed to keep the public out and the tiger in.” Despite the physical and legal consequences of his action, Villalobos seems to have no regrets. “Everybody in life makes choices,” he was quoted saying after the incident.

From David Villalobos' Facebook page.


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