When we were performing inside this prison, the director and staff abruptly left and we later learned that there had been a death at that moment and they do not know the cause whether is was an accident, suicide or a murder. It was really tragic and brought a sense of sadness to the prisoners and the guards. To think death is so close to us and can steal us at any moment. Many of the men became very sober and really listened to our words and teaching.
This one young man I spoke with only had one arm and had just gotten into prison. I asked him how he lost his arm and could not believe the story. He said when he was 12 years old, he was at the zoo with his parents and fell into the lions cage. The lion attacked him, took off his arm, part of his face and his heart actually stopped for a time.
I found his story absolutely unbelievable until one evening I was out jogging and got to the zoo just before it closed. The guys let me in and I could not believe the conditions, you could literally touch the tigers and cougars, the bears were barely out of reach with no fence around them, and although there was no lion anymore, its area had no fence around it and one could easily trip inside it. There were many other animals that were out of the cages walking wherever they pleased and there was zero staff around. Anyway, all though I did enjoy seeing the animals up so close, it was a rather dangerous situation and I totally believe the prisoners tragic story of how he lost his arm.