New Delhi: In a shocking incident, a youth, a student of Class 12, on Tuesday was killed by a white tiger in Delhi zoo at around 1:30 pm.
The incident created a sensation and word soon spread through the city.
According to an eyewitness, the barricade of the tiger enclosure was low and the youth, who was later identified as Maqsood, a resident of Anand Parbat in Delhi, accidently slipped and fell into a dry moat inside the tiger's enclosure. He also said that the tiger approached the victim and didn't attack the youth for 15 minutes and kept on staring at him from within a distance of nearly one feet. During this span, the victim sat in front of the tiger with his folded hands, pleading for mercy. However, it was after someone else from the crowd threw a stone at the tiger, the big cat swiped at the youth, wounding his neck. The tiger then carried the youth away and killed him.
Another eyewitnesses said that the incident took place as the victim was taking pictures of the six-foot-long tiger.
Some eyewitnesses claimed that the security guards at the zoo could do nothing to help the youth when he was being dragged away by the tiger as they did not have tranquiliser guns.
A news agency, however, quoted RA Khan, curator, National Zoological Park, Delhi, as saying: "The youth himself jumped into the tiger's cage."
"The tiger was later locked up," Khan said.
Meanwhile, Amitabh Agnihotri, the director of the National Zoological Park in Delhi, has been summoned by the Environment Ministry.
Police and zoo officials were unable to take out the body from the enclosure even hours after the incident.
He added that animals living in natural habitat tend to become aggressive.
Zoo authorities declined to comment about the gruesome incident immediately.
The space where the white tiger stays comprises of a moat, a natural space for the animal to roam around and a concrete enclosure.
The National Zoological Park, located in the centre of the capital and one of the oldest in the country, is spread over 176 acres is home to about 1,556 different birds and animals. Delhi zoo sees footfalls of 5,000 to 6,000 on weekdays and 12,000 to 13,000 on weekends.