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A 22-year-old youth was killed by a white tiger after the youth fell into the big cat’s enclosure on Tuesday. “The youth himself jumped into the tiger’s cage. We are trying to ascertain his identity,” R.A. Khan, curator, National Zoological Park, Delhi, said.
The incident took place around 1:30 pm on Tuesday. Eyewitnesses and zoo officials said the young man, who was later identified as Maqsood, a resident of Anand Parbat in Delhi, was leaning against the moat which separated the tiger enclosure from the visitors’ gallery.
He tumbled into the dry moat and found himself with the six-foot tiger which itself initially appeared surprised on seeing the human intrusion. In pics According to zoo officials, the tiger attacked the youth on his neck and is said to have chewed some parts of his head.
He said what possibly provoked the tiger to attack the man was when onlookers and a guard tried to divert the beast by pelting it with stones. “Everyone was pelting stones and making noises to divert the tiger,” Bittoo added.
“It was then that the tiger pounced on the youth and dragged him inside his enclosure by his neck,” Bittoo added. Some eyewitnesses claimed the barricade was low and the tiger jumped on the victim.
Another eyewitness Himanshu said: “The man was cowering in fear and appeared to be pleading with folded hands to the tiger to spare him.” Others said the zoo’s security guards arrived only about 20 minutes after the victim fell in.
The National Zoological Park, located in the centre of the capital and one of the oldest in the country, is spread over 176 acres and is home to about 1,556 different birds and animals.
Delhi Zoo sees footfalls of 5,000 to 6,000 on weekdays and 12,000 to 13,000 on weekends. Police and other investigative agencies are on the spot along with the zoo director and other officials.