Recently a video of a man in a lion’s enclosure in the zoo went viral.
The video shows a startling incident at the Delhi zoo. A mentally-unstable 25-year-old man from India fearlessly leaped into the lion enclosure, encountering the majestic beast up close.
This incident evoked memories of a 2014 tragedy when a white tiger fatally attacked a man who had ventured into its enclosure at the same zoo. The event garnered international attention and prompted a thorough review of security measures by the zoo authorities.
On that fateful Thursday afternoon, the man made a daring 20-foot leap into the moat surrounding the lion enclosure. Within seconds, he boldly approached the lion and nonchalantly sat in front of it, astonishing onlookers and zoo officials alike.
Efforts were made by the zoo’s security personnel to prevent the man from entering the enclosure, but he managed to evade their grasp and took the plunge into the moat.
The swift response team, comprising ten dedicated officials, quickly tranquilized the lion from outside the enclosure before executing the rescue operation, which lasted approximately 15 minutes under the supervision of Zoo Director Renu Singh.
Delhi zoo curator and spokesperson Riyaz Khan revealed that when the rescue team approached Rehan, he attempted to escape by running into the moat. However, he was eventually brought to safety without any injuries.
Addressing concerns about the security breach, Riyaz Khan asserted that the zoo maintains strict vigilance around the clock. He emphasized that incidents like these cannot be solely attributed to the lack of secure enclosures, as some individuals deliberately choose to defy safety protocols.
In explaining the lion’s surprising behavior, a zoo official cited two primary factors. Firstly, the man’s family claimed that he was mentally unstable, resulting in his fearless approach and direct eye contact with the lion.
Secondly, the lion, named Sundram, was born and raised in the zoo under the care of its handler. Unaccustomed to hunting, Sundram perceived the man as part of the zoo staff and refrained from attacking.
Contrasting the 2014 incident, where the response time was longer, the zoo staff acted swiftly this time, adhering to a well-defined standard operating procedure designed for emergency situations. As part of their preparedness, the zoo administration has placed ladders in the enclosures of carnivores. In this case, officers Kumar and Vashishtha descended into the enclosure, while the lion’s handler sought to distract the animal.
Rehan Khan emerged from the ordeal unscathed, though his mental state remains a concern, as indicated by the police.
A video capturing the incident quickly went viral, showcasing the man’s audacious interaction with the lion. Despite the visitors’ pleas and warnings, he paid no heed to their calls to retreat.
While the zoo staff took necessary action to safeguard the intruder, it was reported that they resorted to physical measures before handing him over to the police. Notably, the man made gestures towards the lion, yet the animal refrained from attacking. It was noted that had the creature been a white tiger, the outcome could have been far more serious.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.