A man in India was mauled to death by two lions at a zoo in Zirakpur, according to reports.
The unidentified man scaled a 25-foot wall at the Chhatbir Zoo on Jan. 20. Then, he was attacked by two Asiatic lions “as soon as he crossed over,” reported The Times of India.
“The injury on his neck was deep. He was taken to civil hospital in a critical condition, where he died,” M. Sudhagarb, the zoo’s field director, told the Times of India.
Sudhagarb said a male lion and female lion were inside the enclosure, and the female attacked the man first.
He said the man may have entered through a jungle area of the zoo. Describing the unidentified victim, Sudhagarb said he wasn’t a visitor.
“We suspect that he was drunk as it is impossible for a normal person to scale the boundary wall, which is so high,” he said.
A response team removed the animals from the side and rescued the man.
Before he jumped, according to Punjab Wildlife Chief Dr. Kuldeep Kumar: “Our patrolling team saw him at the top. They tried to engage him in talk and make him to come down. However, he jumped inside,” The Sun reported.
Lioness Shilpa and lion Yuvraj were being kept out of their cages in the enclosure so that tourists could see them, he added.
“Lionesses have a very curious nature and Shilpa saw something falling from a great height inside their territory,” Kumar said.
“She rushed to take look and found her prey. She instantly attacked the man, caught hold of his neck and then dragged him along,” he told the publication.
Officials said they haven’t been able to contact the man’s family.
The zoo said it has placed warnings around the zoo’s premises.
Another Lion Attack
It comes just weeks after a lion at a North Carolina animal shelter attacked an Indiana woman who had been working there for a few weeks.
“We have had a lion attack,” an official at the Conservators Center in Caswell County begins in the call, which was obtained by The News & Observer.
“A lion attack?” the dispatcher responds, to which the official replies: “Yes, ma’am.”
The lion “somehow left a locked space and entered the space the humans were in and quickly killed one person. It is unclear at this time how the lion left the locked enclosure,” the center stated.
Alexandra Black, 22, was identified as the victim in the North Carolina attack.
Asiatic lions, which are smaller than the African lion, are an endangered species, according to The Zoological Society of London.
“The Asian lion population has recovered from the brink of extinction to several hundred individuals. They occupy remnant forest habitats in the two hill systems of Gir and Girnar that comprise Gujarat’s largest tracts of dry deciduous forest, thorny forest and savannah,” the society says.
It adds there are “five protected areas currently exist to protect the Asian lion: Gir Sanctuary, Gir National Park and Pania Sanctuary to form the Gir Conservation Area.”
“The other two wildlife sanctuaries, Mitiyala and Girnar, protect satellite areas within dispersal distance of the Gir Conservation Area. An additional sanctuary is being established in the nearby Barda forest to serve as an alternative home for Gir lions,” according to the Zoological Society of London.