An attendant was mauled to death by a Royal Bengal tigress at a zoo in the northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, in what is believed to be a case of negligence as some of the gates separating the area from the cage were left open.
Poulash Karmakar, 35, a native of Dhekiajuli town in neighbouring state of Assam was killed by the tigress while he was on his duty in Itanagar city’s biological park where he was working as an attendant.
He entered the cage area of the tigress to clean the water pond on Tuesday when the incident occurred, according to zoo officials quoted by Indian media outlets.
“The incident happened at around 2:30 pm on Tuesday. I was informed of the incident by one of our animal attendants. When I reached the zoo along with a doctor and other staff, Poulash Karmakar was already dead. He was found bleeding from the face,” zoo curator Raya Flago was quoted by Indian news agency PTI as saying.
According to Mr Flago, three gates that led to the cage from the area where the attendant was working were left open, hinting at negligence from the side of the staff, which he said resulted in the tragic incident.
The eight-year-old tigress named Chippi has been staying in the zoo since 2013.
Arunachal Pradesh’s environment and forest minister Mama Natung took to Twitter to confirm the incident and post his condolences. “Visited the zoo to take stock. Govt will duly compensate for the irreparable loss. Prayers for the departed soul,” he wrote.
A police investigation has been launched in the case and forensic teams were examining the body of the deceased, PTI reported.
“Police did not see anything suspicious and it seems to be a case of negligence as per preliminary investigation,” Itanagar Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Kamdam Sikom said, adding that the body would be handed over to family members on Wednesday after the forensic test.