Tiger walks back to zoo

 While it may not be the “return of the natives” of a wild animal, a tiger that surprised many by unwittingly walking into the Nandankanan zoo and zoological park in April and making a grand escape a month later, walked back to the zoo once again on Sunday night.

The return has been greeted with relief by officials at the government-run zoo, who had to take the rap for letting the animal escape on the night of May 31.

The tiger reportedly jumped through an 18 foot high wire fence, smashing a couple of CCTV cameras mounted atop.

Its return has also brought smiles back on the faces of people living in villages adjacent to the Nandankanan zoo.

They had to spend sleepless nights fearing an attack from the animal after its escape.

Zoo officials said they had come to know the animal’s movement near the tiger safari for the past few days. They fixed more CCTV cameras along the safari’s fences to monitor its movements and had kept the zoo’s two backdoors and the emergency door of the tiger safari open.

When the animal entered the tiger safari around midnight on Sunday, the emergency door of the safari was shut.

“The tiger entered the safari just at 11.48 in the night”, said Nandankanan zoo director Sudarsan Panda.

In the last week of April, zoo authorities had captured the tiger in a similar fashion when it knocked its door for the first time after causing terror in the nearby villages.
Though the animal did not attack human beings, it had preyed on livestock.

Officials said steps have been taken to prevent any more grand escape by the tiger.
“It will be placed in a special enclosure and enough preventive measures have been taken to thwart any escape”, said a zoo official.It was widely believed that the animal had first walked into the zoo lured by a tigress in the tiger safari, but officials and experts are unclear as to why the animal returned for the second time.

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