Provoked tiger kills youth trapped in Delhi Zoo moat

Last Updated 23 September 2014, 20:55 IST

A 20-year-old was mauled to death by a white tiger when he fell into the moat inside its enclosure at the National Zoological Park here on Tuesday. 

While several people claiming to be eyewitnesses said that the youth accidentally slipped into the enclosure while trying to cross the steel barrier surrounding it, zoo authorities claimed that he repeatedly crossed the barrier before jumping in.

The youth, Maqsood, a resident of Anand Parbat area, had a history of mental illness and was on medication, according to his father. He was in the habit of leaving home without informing anyone and his visit to the zoo was one such escapade.

The tragic incident took place at about 1 pm in beat number 8 enclosure and was captured by several visitors on their cell phones. The videos show the seven-year-old white tiger Vijay staring at Maqsood for several minutes and patting his face with its paw many times.

A terrified Maqsood, who had fallen about 18 feet into the moat, appeared to be pleading for mercy while barely being able to stand on his feet. Vijay was sitting on another side of the moat when Maqsood fell inside, said eyewitnesses. 


“The tiger appeared to be confused on seeing the youth fall inside. It walked up to him and stood face-to-face with him for several minutes,” an eyewitness Chintu Prajapati said.

The onlookers, meanwhile, began calling out to security guards and screamed and banged the steel barrier to shoo the tiger away from Maqsood. 

“After a while, some visitors began pelting stones and sticks at the tiger to help the youth. That seemed to anger the tiger and it attacked the youth and  dragged him through the enclosure by his neck till he died. He then returned to his resting spot without eating the victim,” said another eyewitness Shiv Kumar.

Yet another visitor Sonal Sinha said security guards were nowhere to be seen for quite sometime. “They arrived very late and instead of helping the victim, they too began hitting the barrier with wooden sticks. Some of them tried to control the onlookers and keep them away from the barrier,” Sinha said.

Meanwhile, a visitor, Himanshu, called police control room and an ambulance soon arrived at the spot. The victim was taken out of the enclosure and identified by some documents found in his pocket. Police said they have registered a case but are yet to ascertain whose negligence led to the tragedy.

(Published 23 September 2014, 20:55 IST)

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