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Suicidal man jumps into lions’ den at zoo; guards shoot and kill lions, he survives

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Female Asiatic lion Indi, 4, roars as she is fed at the new lion enclosure 'Land Of The Lions' at London Zoo on March 16, 2016 in London, England. The enclosure will be opened by the Queen and is modelled on the village Sasan Gir in Gujarat, India, where lions and villagers live side by side. It is five times the size of the previous enclosure and facilitates for a breeding group of endangered Asiatic lions, of which only several hundred remain in the wild.  (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Female Asiatic lion Indi, 4, roars as she is fed at the new lion enclosure 'Land Of The Lions' at London Zoo on March 16, 2016 in London, England. The enclosure will be opened by the Queen and is modelled on the village Sasan Gir in Gujarat, India, where lions and villagers live side by side. It is five times the size of the previous enclosure and facilitates for a breeding group of endangered Asiatic lions, of which only several hundred remain in the wild. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)  (2016 Getty Images)

Two lions were killed after they severely mauled a man who stripped naked and entered their enclosure in an apparent suicide attempt early Saturday, authorities said.

The man was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and was said to be in grave condition.

Director Alejandra Montalba of Santiago's Metropolitan Zoo told local media the park was crowded with visitors at the time of the incident.

The 20-year-old man broke into the enclosure, took off his clothes and jumped into the middle, horrifying other visitors who witnessed the attack. Zookeepers killed the two lions in order to save his life.

"The zoo has an established protocol because people's lives are very important to us," said Montalba, adding that there were no fast-acting tranquilizers available to stop the lions from mauling the man. She said she was "deeply affected" by the deaths of the two lions, a male and a female.

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An apparent suicide note was found in the man's clothing, said Metropolitan Park director Mauricio Fabry. Witness reported he also made religious proclamations.

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