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Punjab

Man jumps into lion enclosure at Chhatbir zoo, mauled to death

January 21, 2019 06:17 AM

COURTESY HT JAN 21

Shub Karman Dhaliwal Shubkarman.dhaliwal@htlive.com
Man jumps into lion enclosure at Chhatbir zoo, mauled to death
MOHALI: An unidentified man, in his mid-twenties, was on Sunday mauled to death by a pair of lions at Chhatbir Zoo in Zirakpur, around 20 km from Chandigarh.

HT PHOTO
The body of the man lying on a tree trunk after he was mauled by lions in Chhatbir zoo on Sunday.
The incident occurred at 2.20 pm. Punjab wildlife chief warden Dr Kuldeep Kumar said: “The man entered the enclosure by scaling a nearly 30-ft wall from the Ghaggar bandh side and as soon as he crossed over, he was attacked by two lions.”

This is the first such incident in the lion safari. In 2000, a drunk J&K resident was mauled to death by bears after he had entered their enclosure.

Kumar said a lion and a lioness were in the enclosure, adding the female, Shilpa, attacked the man first. “Lionesses are curious by nature. The moment Shilpa saw the man landing inside, she attacked him and caught hold of his neck. She was joined by a male (Yuvraj) who dragged him to a distance. The pair attacked the man for five to six minutes,” said Kumar.

“The injury on his neck was deep. He was taken to the Dera Bassi civil hospital in a police vehicle. The man’s condition was critical and he was declared brought dead at the hospital,” said zoo’s field director M Sudhagarb. He said the man was not a visitor.

“We suspect that he was drunk as it is impossible for a normal person to scale the boundary wall, which is so high,” he added.

“The zookeeper guarding the enclosure raised an emergency alarm and a quick response team was rushed in. A bus inside the safari was driven out and the animals were promptly removed from the site,” said Kumar.

The lion safari has been closed for the time being for visitors following Sunday’s incident.

Called the Mohendra Chaudhry Zoological Park, the Chhatbir zoo is a popular place in the region and attracts hundreds of visitors, especially on weekends.

Kumar said his patrolling team had seen the man on the wall and tried to persuade him to come down but he jumped inside.

Police have recorded statements of zoo authorities and eyewitnesses. The body has been kept inside the mortuary of the civil hospital. “We are trying to ascertain the identity of the man and have issued advertisements in the paper so that his family members are able to get in touch with us,” Zirakpur SHO Gurjeet Singh said.

“We will wait for three days and then get the autopsy done,” he added.

 

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