Drunk man tries to shake hands with lion in zoo

Drunk man tries to shake hands with lion in zoo

Drunk man tries to shake hands with lion in zoo
The weekend crowd at the Nehru Zoological Park here were at their wits end when they saw a man in inebriated condition entering a lion’s enclosure, calling them “darlings” and trying to shake hands with them.

However, 35-year-old Mukesh, a native of Sikar district of Rajasthan, was rescued by the zoo staff in time.

It was on Sunday evening that Mukesh who works as a construction worker at the L&T Metro project here crossed the barricade of the African lion enclosure, swam across the moat and approached Radhika a lioness.

“Please come to me my darling” were the exact words uttered by the drunken man who extended his hand while standing in knee-deep water, even as the crowd started shouting asking Mukesh to swim back. Soon an angry lion Krishna joined Radhika.

Animal keeper R Papaiah rushed to the spot and started calling the names of the lions. “They recognise my voice as I have been taking care of them since they were cubs,” Papaiah said.

Papaiah then started giving them orders to relent and go back. Mukesh, who apparently had no clue on what could happen to him, continued to move forward and an angry Krishna came pouncing at him.  The scared onlookers started pelting stones and few stones fell near the lions and they moved away. Mukesh came into his senses and swam back, and was rescued by Papaiah with the help of a bamboo stick.

Shivani Dogra, who took over as the zoo curator only on Saturday, has said that the security officials ran to stop Mukesh while he was climbing the metal barricade but he had already crossed the moat.

“As it was the end of the day, the animal keepers were busy preparing feed for the animals,” she explained. Mukesh suffered minor injuries and was handed over to the Bahadurpura police station. Cases under IPC Section 448 and 38 F of the Wildlife Protection Act (trespassing and teasing animals) were slapped on Mukesh.

The zoo was in news in recent months after a 17-year-old teen died after he slipped and fell off a rock while taking a selfie.