The story yesterday about the man who leaped off the Bronx Zoo monorail into a pit occupied by a Siberian tiger named Bashuta has transfixed New York media outlets due to its sheer absurdity. David Villalobos, the jumper himself, was brought to a nearby hospital and treated for all types of punctures and broken bones. Originally, cops believed that the man had jumped "on purpose" but, as we had briefly mentioned, maybe the motive had something to do with the act itself - in other words, Villalobos jumped for the thrill of it, not for the remorse.
On his hospital bed, the jumped spoke some deep truths to the authorities; in a comment to the New York Post, the man was quoted as saying that "everybody in life makes choices," his choice being that he wanted to be "one with the tiger." According to the Times, the man lived a strict vegan lifestyle, working at a vegan restaurant on the Upper East Side, and had a passion for two things: "cats" and Mother Earth. That would explain the whole feline unity thing.
And this was an act that was days in the making. Two weeks ago, Villalobos and his girlfriend rode the monorail to blueprint the jump that would take eventually take place. Now, his charges include trespassing and he has been ordered with a desk appearance. Being "one with the tiger" has its hefty costs.
Besides the broken bones and wounds, Villalobos paid the price for his risky venture: at the hospital, doctors installed a metal rod in his leg so he wouldn't lose it to surgery. He also has the gracious spotlight of New York media on him to project his passion to the beaming public.
We cannot deny with Villalobos was "one with the tiger" for nearly ten minutes before zoo officials saved the day. Once again, this story is eternalized for its sheer absurdity. And nothing else.