The inexperienced guard was asked to feed the two cubs and had walked into the cage without realising the hungry cubs were in it.

Two tiger cubs maul a newly-employed guard at Bannerghatta park to deathRepresentation Photo / Amol Gaitonde/ Wikimedia Commons
news News Sunday, October 08, 2017 - 09:26

A 40-year-old guard, a new employee at the Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bengaluru, was mauled to death by two white tiger cubs on Saturday evening.

Santosh Kumar, Executive Director of the park,  told TNM that Hucche Gowda, a senior employee, had asked the newly-employed guard Anjaneya to help feed the cubs as one of the assistants was on leave.

The tigers are fed around 5 pm and Anjaneya reportedly went into the cage to clear out the bones and feed the tigers, without realising they were there.

“He did not realise that the tiger cubs were inside. There are two gates in the cage, one which does not allow the tigers out as it is meant for the person dropping off the food. There was a confusion between the two gates also,” Santosh Kumar added.

Anjaneya entered the enclosure which houses the one-and-a-half-year-old white tiger cubs Vanya and Jhansi Rani, and their father Soorya.

“The tiger cubs attacked him when he went to feed them. One of the cubs bit him on the neck and the other cub also attacked Anjaneya. He began screaming and the tiger cubs dragged him out from the cage to the safari area. He succumbed to his injuries,” Director Santosh added.

Hucche Gowda, who was near the enclosure escaped and alerted the staffers who rushed to Anjaneya’s rescue. Local media reports said that the tiger cubs had eaten parts of Anjaneya. However, Director Santosh denied the claim.

Anjaneya had joined work on October 1, and according to the park’s rules, new employees should not feed tigers or enter the enclosures. Only trained employees are allowed to do so.’

When questioned as to why an untrained employee was made to feed tigers, Director Santosh said that the only eyewitness to Anjaneya’s murder was Hucche Gowda and that an investigation is being conducted.

“We are probing why a new employee was allowed inside. The Zoo Authority of Karnataka is also going to review the safety of tigers and the staffers. Hucche Gowda was the only one who saw what happened. Action will be taken if there was negligence on anyone’s behalf,” he added.

Anjanya’s body was taken to Victoria Hospital for an autopsy. Anjaneya was a resident of the Hakki-Pikki colony and is survived by his wife and two children.  

“I am going to meet Anjaneya’s family today (Sunday). There are reports which say that the park has offered Rs 5 lakh compensation. That is not true. I will meet the family and inform them about the probe that has been initiated,” Director Santosh said.

The park authorities have registered a case of accidental death with the Bannerghatta Police.

Ths is not the first case of negligence at the park. A 9-year-old white tiger died at the Bannerghatta Biological Park on September 20.

On September 17, two white tigers entered an enclosure which housed Royal Bengal tigers after negligent staff opened the gates to both enclosures at the same time.

A vicious fight ensued between the Royal Bengal tigers and the white tigers. The white tigers were injured and one of them succumbed to injuries.

 

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