A drunk man who says he wanted to “shake hands” with a lion and then challenge it to a fight caused a stir at a zoo in India before panicked officials pulled him out of the exhibit, local media reported.

The man, identified as 35-year-old Mukesh Kumar, reportedly ignored warnings from a nervous crowd as he jumped into the moat of the lion enclosure at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad on Sunday.

“I wanted to shake hands with the lioness, fight the lion and also end my life. So I went inside," Kumar told the Express newspaper, which added that he had been drinking with friends before coming to the zoo.

Kumar extended his hand out to the big cats, but the crowd began throwing objects into the exhibit to distract the lions. Zoo officials later pulled Kumar out and he was taken into police custody.

The zoo said it would beef up its security so no more shenanigans could occur in or around the lion enclosure.

"From now on, one security guard would be posted outside the enclosure of all carnivorous animals. We will also seek more police patrol inside the zoo park," Zoo curator Shivani Dogra told the Express.

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