Lioness attacks caretaker at Nehru Zoo in Hyderabad

Assistant Animal Keeper Syed Hussain was cleaning a nearby enclosure when the lion got out of its night enclosure.
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.

HYDERABAD: An animal caretaker was attacked by a female lion at the Nehru Zoological Park (NZP) on Monday. Assistant Animal Keeper Syed Hussain was cleaning a nearby enclosure when the lion got out of its night enclosure. According to park authorities, the door between the two enclosures was not closed properly. Since the zoo was closed on Monday, no visitor was affected.

The eight-year-old African female lion, Sirisha, was under treatment at the Summer House area (off-display area) for hind-limb paralysis. Though injured, Hussain managed to escape.

As per the SOP, the main gates were closed and the veterinary team tranquilised the lioness within 10 minutes. Hussain, who sustained injuries on his hand, was immediately taken to the Osmania General Hospital. The authorities said Hussain was discharged later in the day.

A committee was constituted by NZP director Dr Sunil S Hiremath for an inquiry. A preliminary report submitted by the Deputy Range Officer stated that Hussain showed carelessness in following safety measures and monitoring the wild animals by not closing the door between the two enclosures properly.

The committee has also decided to call on experts to train the staff on how to act during such situations and how to reduce such incidents in the future. Last week, an assistant animal keeper on night duty was bitten by a snake outside the zoo area.

In the wake of similar incidents of animals escaping from their enclosure, the authorities said the NZP management is working on improving monitoring and functioning aspects in the park.

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