Many people are fascinated by the animal kingdom, which is evident by the vast amount of nature documentaries and programs on television and on the internet these days. It’s like we can’t get enough of seeing our favorite creatures in their natural habitats, and we love learning about their everyday life. However, this isn’t quite enough for some, and there are plenty of shocking stories of people transcending the border between man and beast. And we’re not just talking about the standard “wolf children” tales, which are often fabricated. These are stories of people well and truly pushing the boundaries on purpose. Some of this happens in the name of research; some is just downright lunacy. Either way, there are some remarkable tales of human voluntarily living with wild animals – and let’s just say, a lot of them don’t end particularly well. We’ve found some of the craziest, most extraordinary stories and compiled them into one article.
Living in the Lions’ Den
In January 2011, Jim Jablon moved into the lion pen at Wildlife Rehabilitation of Hernando, Inc., the 14-acre sanctuary he’d owned and operated since 2002. The move was pure publicity — he hoped to raise money for his struggling nonprofit. By the end of the month, the Tampa Bay Times reported he’d collected around US$75,000.
However, not everyone agreed with his actions – according to the LA Times, people accused him of “exploiting” the big cats and treating them like pets. Either way, the money he earned was enough to feed all of his animals for at least another year.