Indore: An inebriated youth jumped into lion’s enclosure at Kamal Nehru Zoological Park here on Thursday throwing security officials into tizzy. However, he was rescued by alert animal keepers before it was too late. According to a security guard at the zoo, he spotted a 25-year-old youth, later identified as Kailash Verma of Veer Sawarkar Nagar, sitting near the lion’s enclosure at around 12.45 pm.
Despite being warned by the zoo staff the youth inched forward to the enclosure and clambered up the grill to make his way into the den. Before the guard could stop, Kailash jumped from the viewpoint into 8ft deep buffer zone and crossed the 18ft deep moat and double-meshed protective zone to intrude into the main enclosure housing seven big cats.
Fortunately, none of the lions noticed the presence of intruder inside the enclosure as their position was diagonally opposite to him. In order to fetch their attention, the youth further climbed onto the concrete-roofed shed setup for the animals to take rest and started inviting the big cats for “a fight” by burning papers and bursting firecracker inside the enclosure. Unfortunately, his bid proved futile. Meanwhile, finding an unexpected intruder in the secured enclosure animal keepers rushed to the scene and guided lions inside a small cage before they could notice Kailash and attack him.
“Our animal handlers made lions to go inside a small cage, where they were fed, and then they brought Kailash safely out of the enclosure. He was then handed over to police,” said city zoo in charge Uttam Yadav.
Yadav claimed that the lions did not attack Kailash as they were trained to be friendlier to men, but the act of burning papers and bursting cracker inside the enclosure could have turned out to be fatal for the youth and dangerous for the big cats as well.
This was the second incident of man jumping inside the enclosure in past two years. In 2015, a drunken youth plunged into the enclosure of lions but was saved by alert security guards. In 2014, an engineering student Yashodanand Kaushik, who hailed from Indore, had jumped into a tiger enclosure at Gwalior zoo, took off his shirt and danced in front of a pair of wild cats, but managed to come out unscathed.