A man has been killed by an endangered tiger after allegedly jumping into its moat at an Indian zoo.
The man, named locally as Maqsood, is said to have been under the influence of alcohol when he climbed into the white tiger enclosure at New Delhi Zoo on Tuesday.
Witnesses say the 22-year-old entered the enclosure despite several attempts by zoo security to keep him from the tigers.
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Witnesses say the man entered the enclosure despite several attempts by security to keep him from the tigers
Once the man had jumped into the enclosure, the tiger grabbed him by the neck as terrified onlookers began throwing sticks and stones at the animal to try to save him.
Photos posted online of the attack show the tiger standing over the victim, who can be seen curled into a ball, trying to protect his head with his hands.
A witness said he raced to the enclosure after hearing screams, to see the victim locked in the tiger’s jaws, ‘writhing badly in pain’.
‘Around 1.30pm, when we were in the reptiles area, we heard very loud screams,’ the witness told CNN-IBN news channel.
‘We saw that a white tiger had caught a boy by his neck and he was writhing badly in pain. He kept suffering for the next 10-15 minutes but nobody helped him.’
Fierce foe: According to officials the man appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and jumped over the fence despite zoo security’s attempts to stop him
Indian police and zoo personnel retrieve the shoes the man, who was ‘dragged around the enclosure’ by the white tiger
Another witness said the tiger kept ‘roaming around’ the enclosure, holding the victim by the neck.
Zoo officials said the man had appeared to have been ‘under the influence of alcohol’ and that security had tried to keep him away from the tiger enclosure.
‘Despite repeated warnings that he shouldn’t get too close to the outdoor enclosure, the man eventually climbed over a knee-high fence and small hedges, then jumped down 18 feet into a protective moat,‘ National Zoological Park spokesman Riyaz Ahmed Khan said.
Authorities eventually frightened the tiger into a small cage inside the enclosure.
The man, whose body remained in the outdoor enclosure two hours after the attack, was dead by the time help reached him, Khan said.
Gruesome: According to witnesses, the man’s body was left in the enclosure for several hours before police were able to remove it
Tragedy: Zoo workers and security staff carry Maqsood’s body past the tiger cage at the zoo in New Delhi
The man, whose body remained in the outdoor enclosure two hours after the attack, was dead by the time help reached him
The zoo remained open Tuesday afternoon, though authorities eventually roped off the tiger enclosure.
White tigers are found in southern and eastern Asia, particularly India, and owe their appearance to a recessive gene. They are regarded as an endangered species.
India is home to 1,706 Royal Bengal tigers and fewer than 100 white tigers, according to the last census in 2011. All the white tigers are in captivity.
Rampant poaching and loss of habitat due to human encroachment are cited as the major challenges to tiger conservation efforts.
Source: Daily Mail