When one makes a visit to the zoo, they expect to see animals interacting in their individual habitats, grazing about in their enclosed plains and living in close quarters. Beyond the occasional appearance from a zookeeper or zoologist, however, it is extraordinarily rare to witness any interactions between the humans and the wild animals. But several visitors at a zoo in India laid witness to a man being mauled by lions after he jumped into the enclosure. The details regarding the violent zoo visit are loose at the present moment, but here's what we know about this perplexing zoo occurrence.
According to Independent, the incident occurred at the Chhatbir Zoo in Mohali, Punjab. It was a Saturday afternoon. As it was reported by officials at the zoo, the man was in his early-to-mid 20s and he was seen climbing the 12-foot wall, along with the barbed wire, that leads to the lion enclosure -- even though several people urged him told him not to do so. Ignoring their pleas, the man opted to jump inside the enclosure. It was shortly thereafter that he was mauled to his death in a brutal and public fashion.
The zoo's lion safari attraction houses four lions, and visitors are only able to see the lions through access to tour buses. Once the unknown gentleman was inside the enclosure, he was instantly spotted by a male and a female lion located inside the quarters, according to a doctor located at the zoo. It appears that the animals were curious about the object who dropped to them from a tall height, and once they recognized the man as prey, it didn't take long for the animals to attack the man, first grabbing hold of his neck and then dragging him along inside the enclosure until his untimely death.
The situation reportedly lasted around 10 minutes and during that time, two busloads of visitors were witnesses to the man's violent death by the lions. After this lapse in time, there was a rapid response team who responded to the situation and took the lions away from the man. But by that point, it was too late. The man was too gravely injured, and he was declared dead on arrival after being was rushed to the hospital by local police officers.
There were no forms of identification found on the gentleman's body, and they haven't been able to reach out to the family of the deceased and begin an autopsy. Since very little is known about the man, there are no reasons known as to why he jumped in the enclosure in the first place.
In any case, this violent demise at the zoo remains a mystery for several different reasons, and the details about the situation remain unclear right now. The police are now asking that anyone who might know the individual or anything about this ill-fated situation come forward to help their investigation.
In the meantime, however, the lion safari at the Chhatbir Zoo is closed indefinitely.
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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