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| Last Updated:23/01/2020

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Big cat breaks out of enclosure

The Hindu, Chennai, 23rd August, 2015


Visitors to the Nehru Zoological Park had to cut short their picnic on Saturday afternoon and run for safety when a tiger came out of its enclosure creating panic. A team of veterinary doctors later tranquillised the big cat and caged it.


Five-year-old Kadamba, a Royal Bengal Tiger brought from Mangalore Zoo Park in 2013, is housed in the Summer House Area where animals are kept for breeding and research purposes. Entry of visitors to the area is restricted.


On Saturday afternoon, the tiger was shifted to a new enclosure as part of breeding plans. “Initially, the staff shifted the tiger to the enclosure while arrangements were being made to bring in tigress Katrina. The animal leapt out of the new enclosure area and walked up to its night house, a few metres away. Luckily it did not come out in public area,” Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Telangana, P.K. Sharma, said.


The incident happened around at 3 p.m. when thousands of people were moving around the 380-acre park where around 140 species of animals are housed. The zoo has a Lion, Tiger, Bison and Bear Safari Park.


“All hell broke loose after the word of the tiger escaping from the enclosure spread. People left behind their lunch packs and rushed out of the facility,” Tahera Begum, of Hussainialam who went for a picnic, said.


Evacuating people from the zoo park was a big challenge for authorities. Fearing a stampede, the staff opened both the gates to ensure people moved out safely. A few battery-operated vehicles were pressed into service to ferry the visitors.


“We were waiting to take a trip into the Tiger Safari at the remote end of the zoo park. As the news reached I rushed out with my family in the safari bus,” said Mahesh of Nampally even as he paused to attend the numerous phone calls he was getting from his relatives.


Mr. Sharma admitted that Saturday’s incident proved a 10-foot-high enclosure is not enough for a tiger.


“Tiger cubs and small carnivorous animals like wolf and jackal can be housed in it. We will increase the height and also put up a roof. There are around five to six guards on the premises and there is no need to panic,” he stated. When pointed out that the height of the iron mesh around the Summer House Area is not more than seven feet, he said that the issue would be looked into.


Police teams from different police station rushed to the spot to supervise the evacuation and also prevent any untoward incident. Zoo officials informed through a news release that the zoo would remain open to visitors on Sunday.


Height of enclosure lodging the tiger will be increased from the present 10 feet