Three-tier protection at city zoo

An accident like that at Delhi zoo is unlikely to happen at Vandalur, say wildlife officials

Updated - November 17, 2021 05:55 am IST

Published - September 24, 2014 03:37 am IST - CHENNAI:

Three-tier protection is in place at Anna Arignar Zoological Park in Vandalur, to protect animals from human visitors and visitors from wild animals, say zoo authorities.

On Tuesday, a 20-year-old man accidentally fell into the white tiger’s enclosure at New Delhi zoo, and was later mauled by the big cat.

According to wildlife authorities, such accidents are unlikely to happen at Vandalur zoo as the carnivore enclosures are protected three ways — with a high-rise moat, a chain link fence to separate visitors from the enclosures, and stand-off railings.

The chain link fence is above a normal human being’s height.

Visitors are allowed up to only 50 per cent of the circumference of the carnivore enclosures. The remaining area is cordoned off to visitors.

Similarly, the lion’s enclosure is also provided adequate cover and the visitors cannot go beyond a certain point, said K.S.S.V.P. Reddy, zoo director and additional principal chief conservator of forests.

Zoo officials said, students visiting in groups always pose a major challenge to animal keepers as the youngsters often take to taunting and tormenting the animals by throwing sticks, stones or food items at them.

According to veterinarians, in the event of an accident similar to what happened at the New Delhi zoo, the only way to drive the animal away from the victim is by bursting crackers.

Tranquilising the animal will not work as the sedative takes a long time to kick in.

A senior wildlife official said the Central Zoo Authority of India had objected to the erection of chain link fences outside the white tiger enclosure at Vandalur zoo. Despite that, however, zoo officials went ahead with it for safety reasons, said the official.

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