Man enters lion’s enclosure at Tirupati zoo, mauled to death

A man was mauled to death after he jumped into a lion’s enclosure at the Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park here on Thursday.

The victim has been identified as Prahlad Gujjar (34), a resident of Bansur in Rajasthan’s Alwar district.

According to zoo officials, Gujjar jumped into the buffer zone around the enclosure, which has a lion and two lionesses. When a security guard raised an alarm and ran after him, he jumped into a water tank and scaled the 12-foot high wall surrounding the enclosure and jumped into the secluded zone.

The man then reached the gate that is accessible only to the caretakers and entered the enclosure.

The lion pounced on Gujjar and held him by his neck. The lion dragged him for a distance of about 100 metres. Gujjar died on the spot.

The caretakers then coaxed the lions into the feeding cages, following which the man’s body was retrieved. The police rushed to the spot and shifted the body for autopsy.

Tirupati SP Mallika Garg said they identified the victim with an Aadhaar card found in his pocket. A bus ticket was also found in his pocket, which indicates that he reached Tirupati from Hyderabad on February 13. He was alone and had purchased a single ticket to enter the zoo.

The officer said the police are trying to trace Gujjar’s family to find out if he had any mental issue.

It was also not known if the man was in an inebriated condition, which will be ascertained after the autopsy report is received.

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