Man jumps into lions enclosure in Hyderabad, rescued

Mukesh advances towards the lions after jumping into the enclosure at Nehru Zoo Park in Hyderabad onSunday. Photo: Special Arrangement  

“Please come to me my darling. Please.” These were the words an inebriated Rajasthan native, Mukesh, uttered on Sunday to lioness Radhika after jumping into the big cat’s enclosure at Nehru Zoo Park. He survived his “amorous” encounter to tell the tale, but not before spending the night in police custody.

Alarm raised

Visitors at the enclosure raised an alarm after they heard a loud splash when the 35-year-old jumped into the moat, located more than 12 feet below the ground level. He waded towards the lioness waiting at the shore. A male lion, Krishna, soon joined the lioness and they eyed Mukesh nearing land. Visitors and zoo staff threw stones to distract the big cats but not before Mukesh had come within touching distance.

“He was lucky, as the lions are usually wary of water. Given that these cats are human reared, they are tamer than wild cats and do not see humans as prey. Had it been the tiger’s moat, Mukesh would have become fodder,” said one of the zoo staff.

Shrieks of other people at the enclosure scared the lions and alerted Mukesh at the peril he had gotten himself into. Zoo staff lowered a long pole for him to climb out, while urging him to swim away from the cats. Even as Mukesh fled for his life, animal keeper Pappaiah softly called out to the cats. It was around 5 p.m. and time for the cats’ feed. They responded to his calls.

“Mukesh was lucky that he got away. He was completely drunk when he jumped in,” a zoo official said.

Despite angry pleas of visitors to give him a sound trashing, as was witnessed from the videos of the incident that have gone viral, zoo administration handed him to the Bahadurpura police.

“When asked to explain his actions, he said he wanted to see the lion up close and shake its hand. We will question him again after he sobers up,” said Bahadurpura Inspector Harish Kaushik.

Cases under sections IPC 448 and 38 F of Wildlife Protection Act (trespassing and teasing animals) were filed against him.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 5:16:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/man-jumps-into-lions-enclosure-in-hyderabad-zoo-rescued/article8634088.ece

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