Mauled woman at Berlin zoo was suicidal
The woman was under extreme financial pressure and was threatened with jail time unless she started paying off her debts.Berlin -- A German woman who was mauled by three polar bears when she leapt into the moat surrounding their pen at a Berlin zoo was apparently suicidal after a string of setbacks, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
The daily Bild reported that Sandy K., 32, who is still in intensive care after the attack, went to the zoo alone Friday while her eight-year-old daughter spent the Easter holiday weekend with her father, Sandy's estranged partner Lars.
Sandy had long had financial problems and in February, the electricity was cut off to her flat, which she had been lighting since then with candles.
"She occasionally came over with the kettle so she could heat up her water," a neighbour told Bild.
In the summer of 2007, she nearly lost her apartment due to rent arrears and mounting debts from Internet shopping and was threatened with jail time unless she started paying them off.
And Sandy had evidently been alone since Lars, whom she met during her studies, left her four years ago.
"She had been studying too long and I was working too much. We lost our love," Lars told Bild.
The mauling made front-page news, in part due to the celebrity of the polar bears at Berlin Zoo. They shot to global fame in 2007 after the birth of the cub Knut, which was abandoned by its mother and survived only by being fed from baby bottles by a keeper.
Apparently neither Knut nor his mother was involved in Friday's attack.