BHUBANESWAR: It was not the first time for a feline to enjoy freedom outside the enclosure in Nandankanan Zoo.
In 2000, two such incidents had occurred and on one occasion, a local priest had become victim of a tiger which had scaled the enclosure walls.
Last year in November too, when a tiger had managed to come out of the enclosure, Zoo officials were dumbfounded.
“The lioness, along with a male, has been in the back crawl of the enclosure for the last four to five years but such a thing never occurred,” Director Sudarshan Panda said.
The lioness had twisted the rear gate of the enclosure to escape and Zoo officials believe it might have got a helping hand from the male partner too. Besides, the heavy rains had left the surface soil loose which helped its cause.
Another reason why the lioness may have made an attempt to escape could be arrival of wild boars near the enclosure. Monday being is a fasting day for the animals, Zoo sources believe, the two lions may have been tempted to go after the boars since they were hungry.
“We will inquire into the escape only after we capture the lioness,” Deputy Director SN Mohapatra said.