Here’s the thing about zoos: Despite the fact that those wild animals are behind bars, they’re still wild animals. So no matter how fuzzy and furry that lion looks, it’s not a good idea to pet it unless a zookeeper says to go ahead and do so. But one Michigan woman claims that after she was allowed into a lion’s cage, she ended up losing part of her finger..
She tells WNEM.com that a zookeeper allowed her into the cage with the big cat over the weekend, and that the guide told her “yeah,” when she asked if she could pet it. But as she tried to pet it, she claims the lion ripped off part of her finger.
“I was totally in shock. I really didn’t believe that was part of my finger laying on the ground,”she said. “I put my hand down there to pet it and it ripped my finger.”
Afterward, she alleges that the staff tried to cover it up.
“They just told me not to tell. They told me to lie,” she claims.
But the owners of the zoo tell the news station that the woman went into an area where she wasn’t supposed to, and tried to pet the lion against the zookeeper’s warning.
“The lady went into the security area and was told by the guide to get back and the lady stated she wanted to touch the lion and continued, against the guide’s warning, to put her finger inside the fence and the lion nipped the end of her finger,” the owners said in an email to WNEM, adding that the zoo has posted warning signs and bite signs everywhere.
The woman says she’s considering legal action, although she wants the zoo to stay open. But if you’re ever tempted to stroke a flowing mane, don’t, she advises. Because everyone likes having full fingers.
“They are beautiful, but don’t do it,” she says.