A viral video shows a man getting his finger bitten off by a lion after attempting to pet and play with the animal in front of a crowd of onlookers, with the zoo releasing a statement on Sunday addressing the concerns of many people online.

The video shows a man attempting to pet a lion through a cage by poking their hands through the cage’s holes in an effort to impress the onlookers of the area, who watched the man’s actions with rapt attention, according to ABC Australia.

The man successfully pets the lion once; however, in his second attempt to pet the lion, the animal clamps its mouth and teeth onto one of the man’s fingers instead, causing the man to panic and struggle to pull the finger out of the lion’s mouth, the New York Post reported.

Many onlookers stared in disbelief as it remained unclear at the time whether the biting was part of the act or if the man was actually harmed by the lion.

“I didn't realize the seriousness of it because it's their job to put on a show,” an onlooker said. “Obviously, when he fell on the ground everybody realized that it was serious. Everybody started to panic.”

Jamaica Zoo, which has eight animal exhibits containing swans, hummingbirds, African lions, bunnies, crocodiles, monkeys, scarlet macaw parrots and yellow-billed parrots, released a statement on Sunday clarifying some of the policies of the establishment.

“The Management and Staff here at Jamaica Zoo wishes to reassure the public that we pride ourselves on the love, care and professional treatment our animals receive,” the statement said.

“The actions displayed in a video by a 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. It is an unfortunate event that should have never happened, and we the family of Jamaica Zoo are doing everything to assist the gentleman in moving forward,” they concluded.

A zoo in Jamaica found itself the subject of a viral video after one of their contractors was recorded to have lost a finger after attempting to pet a lion in the zoo. This is a representational image. Zdeněk Macháček/Unsplash.

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