Delhi zoo erects new 6-foot-high fence, posts two guards

Two days after a white tiger mauled a 20-year-old man to death, Delhi zoo authorities have started work on erecting an additional 6-foot-high iron fence around the enclosure. This railing is being mounted on the existing barricade. Also two guards have been posted on the beat now instead of one. The victim allegedly jumped into the moat surrounding the animal’s enclosure.

The enclosures in the zoo are built as per standards prescribed by the Central Zoo Authority and this addition has come after a visit by senior officials from the Union Environment Ministry on Wednesday.

While the six-year-old tiger, Vijay, remains under observation and would only be released for public viewing early next week, Delhi zoo veterinarian Dr. Paneerselvam, speaking to The Hindu on Thursday, said: “We are increasing the security around the tiger enclosure and hope that people cooperate and behave themselves when in the zoo.”

Giving a detailed report on the sequence of events on Tuesday (as reported by the guards and put together by the zoo authorities), Dr. Paneerselvam said: “Praveen, the guard posted at beat No. 8, where the white tiger is housed, had twice asked Maqsood (the deceased) to back off from the second enclosure point.”

“After Maqsood was removed from the spot, Praveen who is in-charge of two other animals on the beat – a crocodile and a leopard – went to the aquatic reptile’s enclosure as some visitors were throwing stones into the waterway of the crocodile. He and the animal keeper, who was in the wolf enclosure, rushed back to the white tiger enclosure when they heard people shouting. Seeing the situation, the animal keeper rushed to Vijay’s enclosure and started calling out to him and hit the floor with the door – a sign that is used every day to indicate that food has arrived. But by then Vijay, agitated by the crowd, had already attacked and killed Maqsood. As soon as he heard his keeper call him, he dropped Maqsood and ran back into his enclosure. The entire incident was over in five minutes.”

Dr. Paneerselvam said it was wrong to say that the zoo hospital was ill-prepared to tackle a situation like this. “We have three tranquilising guns and a syringe loaded for use in situations like this.”

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 9:42:26 am |