Lozano and one of his pet tigers. Lozano and one of his pet tigers.

Selfie with a tiger turns up man wanted for homicide

Mérida casino owner reported in serious condition after tiger attack

Taking a selfie with a Bengal tiger proved to be costly in more ways than one for a casino owner in Yucatán.

Roberto Gabriel Lozano Támez, owner of a casino in Mérida, was attacked by one of two tigers he keeps on a ranch when his son entered the cage in order to take a photograph of himself with the animals.

When his father attempted to get the 150-kilogram tiger off his 15-year-old son, he too was attacked.

Lozano was last reported as being brain dead in a private hospital, but his son was recovering after surgery.

Lozano is not only under care in hospital, but under guard. A background check by police revealed he is wanted in Nuevo León for murder and theft.

In 2005, Lozano killed Juan Ramón Treviño Garza over an unpaid debt of 50,000 pesos (US $5,400 at the time) and stole 7,000 pesos in cash and jewelry.

Lozano gets a tiger hug.
Lozano gets a tiger hug.

Lozano was subsequently convicted of the crime and sentenced to 25 years in prison, but in 2010 a judge ordered his release on the grounds that there were errors by the prosecution and Lozano relocated to Mérida.

In the intervening years, however, the justice system of Nuevo León reversed the 2010 ruling and ordered that the original sentence stood.

Lozano is to be transported to Nuevo León if and when he recovers from his injuries. One report quoted medical sources saying his chances of recovery were slim.

Source: Milenio (sp), La Policiaca (sp), Diario de Yucatán (sp)

Reader forum