LAHORE (AFP) – A zoo in Pakistan has been shut down after a man was mauled to death by tigers in an attack discovered during routine cleaning, officials said yesterday.
The body was found on Wednesday morning in Bahawalpur’s Sherbagh Zoo in the eastern province of Punjab after staff spotted one of the three tigers with a shoe in its mouth.
“The zoo is closed right now as we determine how the man got in,” senior officer Ali Usman Bukhari of the province’s wildlife department, which operates the zoo, told AFP.
The condition of the body suggests the attack happened on Tuesday night.
“The autopsy report has not been released, however evidence gathered from the enclosure points towards him being alive when he was attacked by the tigers,” Bukhari said.
“The tigers did not go out of the den to attack the man, he jumped into their enclosure,” he said.
“If we find a security lapse, we will address it. If need be, we will hire private security guards.”
The victim has not been identified and no family member has come forward to claim the body.
Speaking to media outside the zoo after the body was discovered on Wednesday, senior local government official Zaheer Anwar said all staff had been accounted for.
“Our assessment so far is that this appears to be a lunatic, because a sensible person would not jump into the den,” he said.
“You can see the den is secured. There are stairs behind the den, maybe he jumped from there.”
The three tigers present in the den when the body was discovered have been restricted to a smaller space while evidence is collected.
Pakistan’s zoos are generally in a poor condition and frequently accused of disregarding animal welfare.