Jamaica zoo worker's finger bitten off by lion after taunting it

Warning: Story describes graphic scenes

The horrific moment a Jamaican zoo worker had his finger bitten off by a lion after taunting it has been caught on camera. 

The shocking moment at Jamaica Zoo near Santa Cruz in St Elizabeth occurred on Friday with around 15 people witnessing the moment. 

The video shows the worker taunting the lion before putting his fingers through the fence to rub his mane. 

The lion then bites down on the man's fingers, trapping them in its mouth. As the worker tries to wrestle his finger free, it is severed from his hand before he falls to the ground in agony.

Around 15 people saw the moment unfold, with one witness telling The Jamaica Observer they didn't realise it was serious. 

"When it happened, I thought it was a joke. I didn’t realise the seriousness of it because it’s their job to put on a show," the witness said. 

"Obviously, when he fell on the ground everybody realised that it was serious. Everybody started to panic. The entire skin and about the first joint of his finger was gone.

"I ran away from the whole thing because ... it was too graphic for me. His facial expression when he was walking is like the pain never kicked in."

Jamaica Zoo released a statement condemning the worker's actions saying the incident never should have happened. 

"The management and staff here at Jamaica Zoo wish to reassure the public that we pride ourselves on love, care and professional treatment our animals receive. Similarly with respect to the professional conduct of all team members," the statement said. 

"The actions displayed in the video by the contractor to Jamaica Zoo is tragic and do not represent the safety procedures and policies that must be adhered to at all times at Jamaica Zoo. 

"We are currently reviewing the video, with a view of preventing any future recurrences. It is an unfortunate event that should have never have happened and we the family of Jamaica Zoo are doing everything to assist the gentleman in moving forward. 

"We do hope you continue to support Jamaica Zoo. We have always been and will continue to be a safe place for you and your family to visit."

The condition of the man and if anything will happen to the lion is unknown.