The tiger did not eat him, which is the only way I can think of that he would have been one with the tiger. After all, this tiger lives in New York. New Yorkers know the difference between good food and garbage.
What is it about tigers? Whether we love them or hate them, cats are admired for their beauty, agility, ferocity. And tigers are the biggest cats in the world. They are orange. Orange is outrageous. A tiger is even the star of Jane of the Jungle:
"Everything's gone to sh*t, and now I'm discussing theology with a tiger." (Jane of the Jungle, p. 83) When Jane meets Sadji, her life has taken not one but several turns for the weird. As if all living could be pressed into a sewing thimble, she has experienced more in the last month than in sixty years. And who could help her sort it out but a tiger? No other creature is majestic enough to hold so much.
What if tigers could think the way we do? Or communicate?
The conversation at the Bronx Zoo might have gone something like:
"Check it out, guys, a gift from the sky."
"Does he have a key?"
"Let me drag him around for a while and see if it falls out of his pocket."
"I would never eat anything that stupid."
"Me neither. Hey, someone's calling you. Maybe they have something worth eating."
Sadji, Jane of the Jungle's friend, would no doubt have a similar opinion. "Perhaps the man thought he could fly," he might have thought. "Humans, you know, are capable of some pretty outlandish beliefs."