A CHILEAN veteran who threw himself naked to lions in a zoo never moved on from the death of his mother when he was just 11-years-old.
Franco Ferrada, now 20, went on a religious tirade as he threw himself naked into the lion pit in Santiago Zoo.
Two drawings of lions were also found in Ferrada’s wallet after he was rescued from his deathly encounter.
He claimed to be a prophet from God and said that the end of the world was coming.
A message found in Ferrada’s pocket read: “The apocalypse has arrived, and I will know when it shall come.
“I am the prophet and I have returned for my people.”
Zoo workers told local press that Ferrada seemed fixated on the story of Daniel in the Bible.
The holy hero was said to have been saved by angels after throwing himself to the lions.
The troubled man was saved by zoo workers and was rushed to hospital after Saturday’s incident.
Friends of Ferrada have said that this dangerous episode may have been linked to the untimely death of his mother when he was just a child.
She died of breast cancer nine years ago.
Ferrada was put into care after his mother died as his father had become an alcoholic.
Friends say that Ferrada never forgave him.
A shopkeeper in the Puente Alto district of Santiago said: “Franco appeared to be a very happy young man on the outside.
“His actions at the zoo surprised us all, but his family is very troublesome.
Neighbour Castellano said: “They are notorious in Puente Alto for being very raucous and often drunk.”
His family comes from the Puente Alto district of Santiago, to the south of the Chilean capital.
Local shopkeeper Gonzalo Molina said: “He was a very happy boy. It’s so strange for me to find out he had psychological problems.”
Grandmother Nolbertina Muñoz said: “The death of his mother was very difficult for Franco. After that he was always very concerned with taking care of his brothers and sisters.”
“He visited me last weekend. He seemed happy and told me he was very content.”
Ferrado joined the army at 18 after he left his orphanage in Santiago.
He served at an army base in the state of Aysen for a year and a half.
According to his Facebook profile, he has worked at Burger Kind in the city.
But friends say that Ferrado suffered from mental illness from his childhood, going back to the death of his mother.