The former soldier who stripped naked and fed himself to the lions at a Chile zoo never got over his mother dying from breast cancer when he was 11, MailOnline can reveal.
Franco Ferrada, 20, launched himself into the lion pit at Santiago Zoo in front of horrified onlookers on Saturday while claiming to be a prophet sent from God.
He left a note in the pocket of his abandoned clothes to be a prophet and declaring the end of the world was nigh.
‘The apocalypse has arrived, and I will know when it shall come,’ he wrote. ‘I am the prophet and I have returned for my people.’
It is unclear whether he was trying to end his life, although witnesses at the zoo spoke of how he recounted to them the biblical hero, Daniel, who was thrown to the lions but saved by an angel sent by God.
Along with his scribbled prayer, two strange drawings of lions were found in Mr Ferrada’s wallet by paramedics as he was rescued from the cage and transferred to his Santiago emergency room.
It is thought the episode may be in some way related to the death of his mother from breast cancer almost 10 years ago.
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