Before his tangle with a Bronx Zoo tiger, David Villalobos adorned his Facebook page with New Age odes to Mother Earth and affirmations like: "Be love and fearless."
Police said Mr Villalobos had told detectives it was without fear that he leaped from an elevated train into the animal's den.
His reason, they said, was that "he wanted to be one with the tiger".
Mr Villalobos, 25, also recounted how, after he landed on all fours, the animal attacked him and dragged him around by his foot, said New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne.
Despite serious injuries, the estate agent claimed he was able to get his wish and pet the tiger - a male Siberian named Bashuta - before his rescue, the spokesman added.
Based on those admissions and a complaint from the zoo, police were planning to arrest Mr Villalobos on trespassing charges, Mr Browne said.