Man jumps into lion enclosure at Nandankanan zoo, injured

Bhubaneswar: A man was seriously injured after being attacked by a pair of lions when he jumped into their enclosure at the Nandankanan Zooligical Park here today.

“The man indentified as Suryanarayan Das (45) from Chhatrapur in Ganjam district all of a sudden climbed on the wall and jumped into the lion enclosure (29-D) housing Cris (male lion) and Priyanka. We rescued Das within five minutes and rushed him to a hospital,” Zoo assistant director K L Purohit told reporters here.

He ruled out the possibility of somebody pushing Das into the enclosure.

The incident took place at about 1.10 pm when security guards had gone for lunch. As soon as Das fell inside the enclosure, the lioness pounced on him, Purohit said.

The lions returned to their cage when the people started shouting at them. “The man touched my feet before jumping into the lion enclosure,” an elderly woman tourist from West Bengal said.

Das sustained muliple injuries on his skull, cheeks, neck, legs and hands, Dr Srikant Mohapatra, the general manager of the private hospital here.

“Das regained consciousness in the hospital. He has sustained deep bites on hands and legs. Das also admitted having a quarrel with his wife before coming to the zoo,” Dr Mohapatra said. He was now stable, Dr Mohapatra said.

Stating that this was first such incident at the zoo, Nandankanan deputy director C R Mishra said that they strictly follow the Central Zoo Authority guidelines so far security of visitors are concerned.

“Now we will further think about the visitors safety. If someone wants to jump inside the enclosure of animals, no one can help,” Mishra said.

Meanwhile, Purohit claimed that there was no panic among the visitors as claimed by a section of media.