Early this week, India watched in horror as a youth was mauled to death by a rare white tiger in Delhi Public Zoo. As an enraged nation started asking piercing questions, the local government has initiated an inquiry into the freak accident, which zoo officials reportedly delayed extensively.
An inquiry is currently underway into the circumstances in which a young man with alleged mental health problems was killed by a white tiger, including why zoo officials took more than 15 minutes to reach the scene of the incident. Witnesses and multiple videos prove that the senior white tiger, named Vijay, watched in apparent confusion as the man managed to get inside his enclosure.
Though it is still not clear as to how the man managed to get into the tiger’s enclosure, eye witnesses shared that the man was seen pleading with the tiger to spare his life for a good quarter of an hour, before onlookers started pelting stones in the hope of scaring the beast away. That’s when the tiger mauled the poor chap, grabbing him by his neck and dragging the now-limp body deeper inside the enclosure, reported The Independent.
Even as the government’s Ministry of Environment and Forests ordered an inquiry into the incident, speculations are rife about the man’s mental health, with many firmly believing the man suffered from psychological problems. Local media, which has been running the news, gathered from the locals that the man was employed as a casual laborer and sometimes earned as little as 60p a day.
The National Zoological Park is over 62 years old, and the enclosures predate many of the employees. However, defending the park and its safety measures, zoo’s director, Amitabh Agnihotri, said, “All the enclosures of the National Zoological Park are absolutely safe. No visitor can reach the moat wall of the enclosure without crossing the stand-off barrier. This visitor…ultimately jumped into the enclosure which led to his death.”
Surprisingly, despite being witnessed by dozens of visitors, there still isn’t a concrete record as to how the youth managed to get into the enclosure, but videos recorded by them prove that zoo officials were nowhere to be seen for a long time as the onlookers visitors clamored to help the victim by whatever means they could, reported The Week.
Even after managing to scare the tiger away, local witnesses claim Mr. Khan’s body remained inside the enclosure for about two hours.
[Image Credit | Cover Asia Press]