Man Attempts to Enter Lions' Den at National Zoo

A man tried to get into the lions' den at the National Zoo Wednesday afternoon.

The man climbed over the first line of protection between the public and the lions' den about 4:30 p.m., when the zoo was crowded, but authorities got to him before he could access the area where the lions could have attacked him.

He was placed in custody then taken involuntarily to a psychiatric facility for evaluation.

Later he said he hears voices in his head telling him to hurt himself, according to the police report.

He has not been charged with a crime.

The den meets or exceeds safety standards set out by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a zoo spokesperson said, and there are no plans to update security or the enclosure.

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