NEW DELHI: Around 22 lakh people visited Delhi zoo this summer with white tiger Vijay, who mauled a youth to death, and a King Cobra being the crowd-pullers.
"We recorded around 22 lakh visitors till June this year. The white tiger incident and the recent bringing in of King Cobra have made people flock to Delhi zoo," said Riyaz Khan, Delhi zoo curator. Last summer, the recreational facility had around 20 lakh visitors.
Vijay, the white tiger, gained popularity after a mentally challenged youth was killed by the animal in September last year, after he reportedly fell into the big cat's enclosure. "Vijay is one of the star attractions here. We have had a lot of visitors after the unfortunate incident, to see the animal. The 14 feet long King Cobra is an equal crowd-puller here, as it is a rare sight," Khan said.
The curator informed that the popular white tiger recently became a father of four cubs. "The cubs, however, are not on display right now. We will be able to release them only after a year as they are under examination and too young for display," he added.
Talking further about the increase in number of visitors at the city zoo, Khan said that around 31,000 people visited the facility during Eid last month. "We had around 31,000 visitors during Eid. We employed more forces to manage the crowd and took all measures to prevent any untoward incident," the official added.
The Delhi zoo currently houses 1,355 animals and birds, with 213 exotic species and 753 of Indian origin.