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Man mauled in lion zone

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 5: A man was seriously injured after being attacked by a lioness this morning when he dodged security and jumped into her enclosure at the Nandankanan Zoological Park in Bhubaneswar.

Surya Narayan Das, 42, was admitted to a private hospital in Bhubaneswar before being shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack.

Supriya, the lioness, had ripped the flesh from different parts of his body after dragging him for almost 40 feet inside the enclosure. Zoo authorities said Das appeared to be mentally challenged and was also drunk. He had stripped himself to his underwear before scaling the wall of enclosure number 29B, which is home to 16-year-old Supriya and a 17-year-old male lion, Krish.

“He folded his hands to greet the people around him before jumping into the enclosure,” said Soubhagya Sahu, a visitor.

As soon as Das jumped inside, Supriya attacked him. Within minutes he started bleeding profusely and then fell unconscious. Zoo officials rushed to the spot and distracted the lioness by shouting. After they managed to lure the duo into their feeding chamber, they rescued Das through the entrance gate of the enclosure that is used by the caretakers for cleaning and maintenance purposes.

Sources said the most surprising part was that nobody tried to stop the man from jumping into the enclosure though around 20 visitors were present on the spot at that time.

“One person was even capturing the incident on his video camera. Thankfully the lioness did not get hold of his neck, which would have been fatal,” said a zoo employee.

Though the zoo authorities cordoned off the area following the incident, the visitors were seen moving around other parts of the park as usual.

Sources said that this is the second incident of a man entering into the enclosure of the big cats at the zoo.

This is the second time that a man had entered into the enclosure of the big cats at the zoo. “A similar incident had taken place nearly 15 years ago but no one was hurt,” said an employee of the zoo.

Sudarshan Panda, director of the zoo, said: “No sane person will do anything of the kind. We are trying to get in touch with his relatives. On humanitarian grounds, we admitted him to a private hospital at our expense and then shifted him to the SCB Medical College and Hospital.”

In January this year, Supriya had escaped from her enclosure and managed to elude the zoo authorities for nearly 30 hours. Panic had gripped the zoo as over a 1,000 people were present inside when she slipped out of her enclosure. Her free run ended after the search teams managed to tranquillise her.

SIMILAR ATTACKS

IN INDIA...

July 2102: A 28-year-old man sneaks inside the big cat enclosure at Tata Steel Zoological Park, Jamshedpur, only to be mauled by a seven-year-old Royal Bengal Tiger

August 2009: A drunk man enters Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad and tries to feed a white tiger. The tiger rips off the man’s right arm

December 2007: A 50-year-old man from Sivasagar district in Upper Assam, on a holiday with his family to Guwahati Zoo, meets an unusual death after two tigers tear off his left arm while he tries to click their photographs on his mobile phone

December 2000: An apparently drunk man clambers over the wire fence of the tiger enclosure at Alipore zoo, Calcutta, swims across the moat and tries to “entertain” a tiger till it mauls him to death

January 1996: Two drunk men straight from a New Year’s-eve bash enters tiger Shiva’s enclosure at Alipore zoo, Calcutta, and tries to garland him. The terrified tiger kills one of the men instantly and seriously injures the other

...AND ABROAD

March 2010: At Manitowoc, Wisconsin, woman ignores barriers and warning signs to feed bears. One bear bites off her thumb and forefinger, and partially severs her middle and ring fingers

January 2009: Visitor at Beijing Zoo jumps barrier to retrieve toy dropped by his son. A huge panda, Gu Gu, bites his legs and refuses to let go

December 2007: Four visitors to San Francisco Zoo, California, US, disturbs Siberian tiger named Tatiana. An hour later, the tiger runs free and kills one of the three men

April 2009: A woman jumps into an enclosure for polar bears at Berlin Zoo. The polar bears bite her several times

October 2009: Two drunken men visiting Calgary Zoo in Canada enter a tiger’s cage. Siberian tiger named Vitali mauls one of them and leaves him severely injured