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Man Mauled to Death by Lion After ‘Intentionally’ Jumping into Zoo Enclosure in India

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The lion is reported to have mauled the man to death within 10 minutes

A lion mauled a man to death in India after he “intentionally” jumped into a zoo enclosure, according to the establishment.

Prahalad Gurjar entered the S.V. Zoological Park’s lion enclosure around 2:15 p.m. local time on Thursday, when a male Asiatic Lion named Dungarpur was on display, zoo officials said in a news release obtained by PEOPLE.

While a zookeeper at the location in the city of Tirupati was “on regular inspection,” they spotted Gurjar — who was from the Alwar district in Rajasthan — from the other side of the enclosure, moving toward where the animal was located.

Despite being alerted by the employee, Gurjar still “climbed the wall and chain-link fencing” before “intentionally” jumping into the enclosure.

“After seeing the human being inside the enclosure, the animal attacked,” a release said. “Though the animal keeper and other security staff nearby tried to save the person, the animal dragged the person inside the enclosure.”

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The Times of India and Hindustan Times, citing the Press Trust of India (PTI), both reported that the man wanted to pose for a selfie with the lion. The Times noted that police said the man appeared to be drunk.

“Though the watcher on duty cautioned him not to get close to the enclosure, Prahlad intentionally marched towards the enclosure which had a four-feet wall and six-feet iron fencing and jumped into it,” zoo curator C Selvam told the outlet. “We have taken utmost precaution to prevent such incidents. We will once again review the security measures to prevent such incidents in the future.”
After the man was attacked, zoo staff reported the incident to the M.R.Palli Police station and called an ambulance, per the release. The staff then “locked the animal inside the night house” before recovering Gurjar’s body, wallet and Aadhaar identification card.

According to the Times, the zoo said Gurjar may have died from excessive bleeding. The outlet also reported that the lion mauled the man to death within 10 minutes.

Times reporter Sudhakar Udumula shared footage and images of the lion and the aftermath of the scene on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday, which showed the big cat sitting in a cage as officials looked around the enclosure.
The man’s relatives have been informed of his death and his body has been taken to the SVRR Government General Hospital for a “post-mortem examination,” per the release.

Police have since launched an investigation.

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