2 tigers sneak out from Guwahati zoo

The great escape

2 tigers sneak out from Guwahati zoo

A veterinarian treats a tranquilised Royal Bengal tiger in a cage at a state zoological park in Guwahati on Saturday. AP

A zoo spokesperson said the two big cats managed to sneak out of their iron enclosure when three animal keepers were disinfecting it by opening one of the cage doors.
“The two tigers came out of the enclosure and started walking lazily in the open leading to great amount of panic and fear,” zoo warden Narayan Mahanta said.

The zoo, the only one in Assam, was teeming with an estimated 10,000 visitors  when the two tigers walked out of the enclosure.

No one was injured as thousands of visitors ran for their lives seeing the cats on the prowl. “We immediately evacuated the visitors and tried to locate the cats before tranquilising one of them relaxing by the side of a pool inside the zoo,” Mahanta said.

A large contingent of police and wildlife officials rushed to the zoo and managed to tranquillise the other tiger around noon.

“The entire operation took us about three hours before both the cats were tranquilised and taken to safety. They are now under observation by a team of veterinarians,” the zoo warden said.

The zoo authorities have ordered a probe to find out how the tigers managed to get out of the enclosure that also houses seven other big cats.

In 2007, a 50-year-old man was mauled to death by a tiger in the same zoo when he went close to the enclosure to click photographs, while another visitor in 2008 was seriously injured by a Himalayan black bear.

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