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Tiger in Kiev Zoo Suffers Stress Attack After Man Hugs Him

A drunken visitor to the zoo in Kiev scaled the fence enclosing the tiger cage. Nicolas Vollmer / Flickr

A tiger has suffered an apparent stress attack after being assaulted by a man at a Kiev zoo, a news report said.

A drunken visitor to the zoo in the Ukrainian capital scaled the fence enclosing the tiger cage just before closing time on Monday evening, then fell to the ground inside, and proceeded to "hug" the six-year-old animal named Malysh, or Baby, Ukraine's TSN television reported Tuesday.

The tiger clasped onto the man with its paws and did not let go until the man pulled out a gun and fired a shot into the air, the report said.

The man was later detained and taken to a hospital for a medical examination.

"The tiger suffered from more anxiety than the man, who was joking and laughing when the ambulance took him away," a zoo worker told TSN.

The "poor unhappy tiger" was clearly shocked by the incident and was seen lying down, curled up, until late at night, the zoo employee added.

The tiger-hugger had made an earlier attempt to get into a different tiger's cage while shouting: "I love tigers," but was held back by zoo employees, TSN reported. He then proceeded to Malysh's cage to express his affection for the large cat, the report said.

The man's lucky escape from the tiger's claws is less miraculous than it seems — as a cub Malysh was fed milk from a bottle by zoo caretakers, so the tiger "treats humans as friends," TSN reported, citing zoo officials.

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