A man was arrested in Boston on Monday morning and accused of trying to get into the Franklin Park Zoo's tiger enclosure. Zoo workers say they saw Matthew Abraham, 24, in an area that is not open to the public behind the Tiger Tales exhibit around 8:45am, WCVB reports. "When first seen by staff and approached, he climbed over a gate and quickly exited the area," zoo officials say. Zoo security detained him. He was evaluated by Boston Emergency Medical Services and deemed mentally competent, and after he declined any additional medical care, Massachusetts State Police arrested him. The zoo says Abraham also broke into the zoo, which was not open at the time, by climbing over a gate, NBC Boston reports. He allegedly climbed over multiple barriers and ignored signs telling him to stay out of the area near the enclosure.
Abraham, who faces charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct, was released on bail, and later gave interviews to multiple outlets. The Worcester State University biology student insists he was not trying to get inside the enclosure and was 20 yards away when approached by zoo staff; he tells NBC Boston it would be "reckless" to enter a tiger enclosure. "To get in and have a tiger eat me alive? No," he said. But he also told WCVB, "They say it's something called the eye of the tiger. They say the eye of the tiger is the most dangerous thing you'll ever see in your whole life." Asked if he was trying to get close enough to the tiger to look into its eye, he said, "Yes. They say that the soul is visible through the eye." He says the tiger growled at him from behind a fence. (Read more weird crimes stories.)