Lions attack keeper in Bannerghatta park

Lions attack keeper in Bannerghatta park

Two young safari lions attacked an animal-keeper inside the enclosures at the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) in the City on Monday, leaving him grievously injured.

Forty-four-year-old Srikrishna was mauled by four-year-old Nakul and five-year-old lion after the central passage of the animal-holding houses accidentally opened.

A profusely bleeding Srikrishna was rushed to Apollo Hospital, where he is said to be in a critical condition.

BBP officials said the incident occurred at 9:30 am when wildlife vet Dr Nirupama, three interns and Srikrishna were standing in the animal-holding house’s central passage, preparing for the lions’ routine vaccination.

One of the animal-keepers accidentally opened the side gate instead of the squeeze cage where the lions are normally put for vaccination. Two lions escaped and instantly attacked Srikrishna.  It took a while for the other animal-keepers to rescue Srikrishna.

According to Dr Venkatesh A N, senior consultant and head of the department of emergency medicine at Apollo Hospital, Srikrishna suffered multiple grievous injuries, including a big bite on his abdomen, which damaged his intestines. 

Srikrishna was subjected to exploratory laparotomy to check if he had suffered injuries in his abdomen. Luckily, he has not sustained any perforation, though a lot of blood was collected in his intestines.

Tests have also revealed damages to his kidney.

“Since it is an animal bite, we have to be extra cautious about the chances of the patient developing rabies. We have taken all precautionary measures, and are administering him the necessary antidotes, including immunoglobulin, to prevent infection. However, the next 48-72 hours are crucial for him,” Dr Venkatesh said. 

Srikrishna also sustained injuries on his neck, chest, legs and back, and multiple fractures at the cervical spine and the lumbar regions, said the doctor.
BBP executive director Range Gowda said the park would bear the cost of Srikrishna’s treatment.

Zoo Authority of Karnataka member secretary R S Suresh said: “I have heard different versions of the incident, and it has to be investigated. A departmental inquiry will be conducted.”

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