On March 19 (Friday) a 40-year-old man was left injured after he jumped inside the lion’s enclosure in Kolkata’s Alipore zoo. Though the man, identified as Gautam Guchait, escaped with minor injuries, the Asiatic lion has remained in a state of panic ever since the incident took place, told the Zoo manager Ashish Samanta to the media.
The Zoo manager said that Gautam Guchait was in an inebriated state when he jumped into the lion’s enclosure at around 10.30 am on Friday. The lion, which was out of its cage then, attacked Guchait, a resident of Patashpur in East Midnapore, around his right leg, shoulders, waist and neck, dragged him around 30ft into its shelter and then released him.
While the Zoo vet said, “The lion acted more in self-defence because it got nervous by the intrusion. A full-fledged attack would have killed the man.” The Zoo manager Ashish Samanta added that the lion was frightened to see a human inside his enclosure and has remained scared since the incident.
According to reports, the other visitors alerted the zoo workers about the incident. When the workers reached the enclosure they found Gautam Guchait lying injured on the ground. Guchait was immediately rushed to SSKM Hospital in Kolkata and his family was informed.
“The man was lying inside the enclosure, writhing in pain. Biswas, a male lion, went near him and lunged a paw at him. The lion then clawed him into one of the rooms in the night shelter at the rear end of the enclosure,” Samanta said.
The team of keepers, guards and vets entered the enclosure and started banging on the iron mesh at the rear end to divert the lion’s attention. The ploy worked and the moment Biswas moved into the second room, a keeper shut the door of the first, added the Zoo manager.
According to the Alipore Zoo authorities, the lion named Biswas was brought from the Hyderabad zoo three years ago. Besides Biswas, there are currently three more lions in the zoo.
However, after the incident, the safety and security of cages and enclosures of the zoo are being strengthened. According to Kolkata’s Alipore Zoo officials, the height of the wire mesh on the lion’s den is being further increased and the number of CCTVs is also being increased.