New Delhi: Authorities in Delhi Zoo are considering tightening safety measures for visitors, two days after a 20-year-old youth was mauled to death by a white tiger in the facility.
A number of short-term and long-term measures are being planned to ensure safety of the visitors at the zoo where the average daily footfall is around 1,300 but post the incident on Tuesday, it saw a record rise of nearly 3000 yesterday.
"We are planning to step up precautionary measures by increasing the fencing around the white tiger enclosure by around six feet," Zoo veterinary officer Panneer Selvam told a news agency.
Currently, the fencing around the white tiger enclosure is around four feet. The height of the fencing is as per guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) which is the nodal agency to oversees functioning of zoos across the country, he said.
Additionally, the zoo authorities have also deployed security guards exclusively for the white tigers to avoid recurrence of any such incident. A number of other measures are also being finalised.
The zoo houses two male and female white tigers each. According to Selvam, the authorities had previously tried to increase the fencing around enclosures. However, it was not implemented following complaints by the public as it would affect viewing of the animal.
Since February, around 80 people have been fined by the zoo authorities for unruly behaviour towards animals. However, the authorities do not intend to increase either the fine money or the entry ticket price.
A number of eyewitness had said on Tuesday that the white tiger picked up 20-year-old Maqsood by his collar and pounced on him after stones were thrown at the animal.
The seven-year-old tiger Vijay, who is under observation in a cell, will be released to its enclosure by Monday. The feline, born in 2007 in the zoo has not shown any abnormality in behaviour and is calm and quiet, Selvam said.
He said the animal is eating 10 kilogrammes of calf meat and 500 grammes of liver everyday.
"The tiger has not been released as a number of people have flocked to its enclosure for the past two days. This may disturb the animal," he said.
According to official figures, the number of visitors to the zoo saw a "record" rise of 2,998 yesterday as compared to the average footfall of 1,300.
Many of the visitors who today thronged the zoo mistook Kalpana, the female white tiger for Vijay.
Deepak, one of the visitors said, "I brought my family after watching the video which has gone viral. But we were disappointed as we could not see the tiger which mauled the youth."