A Massachusetts man was arrested after he tried to get into a tiger enclosure at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, the Associated Press reported.
Matthew Abraham, 24, climbed a gate to get into the zoo around 9 a.m. Monday, authorities said.
He allegedly ignored several warning signs, but ultimately he was unable to get into the tiger enclosure, officials said.
Abraham did manage to get into an area behind the exhibit that he was not supposed to be in, the AP reported.
When he was approached by zoo staff, he allegedly ran away before later being nabbed by zoo security.
He was arrested and charged for trespassing and disorderly conduct, officials said. When he was asked why he had allegedly trespassed, he told authorities he was very interested in tigers, according to The Massachusetts State Police.
“The gate shouldn’t have been open, I walked in,” Abraham, of Worcester, told WBZ-TV. “I didn’t mean to harm anybody, I wasn’t looking to harm the tiger, I wasn’t looking to harm myself neither.”
Abraham said he didn’t know he was in a restricted area until he was confronted by security, which occurred as he made eye contact with a tiger.
“When the tiger growled at me, I thought I could be in danger,” Abraham said. “However, there was a fence between me and the tiger, so I wasn’t actually in the enclave with the tiger.”
Abraham, who confirmed he has a fascination with tigers, said he hopes the charges are dropped “as a misunderstanding, because that’s what I believe it was.”
He pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces at his arraignment Tuesday, where he was ordered by a judge to not go back to the zoo, WBZ-TV reported.