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Thursday, March 1, 2018

insane human intrusion into animal zone !! - who pays the price ?


It is a rare phenomenon of human relations with animals – in some zoos, the animal keepers become so friendly with the animals, that they respond to human language and calling by names ! In life – sometimes there would be options ~
there have been occasions of man intruding in to the enclosure of wild animals and .. .. ..
o   in more than a couple occasions in Western World, the animal (though not at all faulty) was shot dead and humans saved !
o   in a Delhi incident, a man jumped into the cage – a 200 kg Tiger mauled him, while the gory incident was caught on mobile video and circulated widely.
o   Is there any other possibility ? .. . .. ??
 lion at Nandankanan zoo
Thiruvananthapuram Zoo is one of the oldest of its kind in India. Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma, who ruled Travancore between 1830 and 1847, established a menagerie where royal tigers, panthers, cheetahs, deer, boar, and other wild animals were kept. His brother Uthram Thirunal and British Resident William Cullen formally establish the zoo in 1857 as an annex to the Napier Museum.

The Zoo is in news as media reports and mobile phone footage shows a man jumping  into an open enclosure housing lions at the Zoo on Wednesday. The footage, filmed by a visitor at the zoo, shows the man crawl towards a lion's cage.  But unlike the earlier cases where either the animal was shot dead or the man getting killed, here was a happy ending – man saved by the alacrity of zoo workers.

Police say the man, scaled a barbed fence, jumped over a short wall and crossed a moat towards what appears to be the lion's cage this morning around 11 AM. On seeing this, another visitor immediately alerted zoo workers.  One media writes perhaps with a tinge of sadness that the alleged  face-off was not caught on camera.  In the footage, the insane mane is seen crawling towards the animal – however, the alert staff keeper of the animal, risked his life, entered the cage, lunged to grab the man and dragged him away with more workers helping them out.  It could have ended rather sadly, if the animal had attacked any of them.  

It is stated that the keepers acted with alacrity and good presence of mind, in trying to divert the attention of the lioness.  Further reports put the lioness as ‘gracy’ – which perhaps exhibited its  usual behaviour of running away at the sight of humans when she spotted a stranger  in her open enclosure.  It was gracious that  she didn't get time for her second act; lurking somewhere and pouncing back with all the might.

In an interesting story, TOI reports quoting Vimal, the zoo-keeper who has taken care of the lioness since she was born saying -  had the zoo-keepers been even a teeny bit late to act, she would have come back and attacked Murugan.“Whenever we get to the enclosure with her daily diet, she would run away first, only to come sprinting towards us from somewhere. May be, it was the presence of lot of men that dissuaded her from doing soon Wednesday or else it would have been tragic for that person,'' said Vimal.

The CCTV visuals in the enclosure show the intruder  crawling on all fours and the lioness running off on seeing him. The foolish person kept following the lion but in a  matter of few minutes zoo keepers entered the enclosure and dragged him out. It is further reported that Gracy, one among the two remaining lions in the city zoo was raised by the zoo vet and the keeper after her mother Aiswarya died of cancer. Nursing became essential as the cub used to be attacked by Ayush, its biological father.“She was born with deformed limbs. As a cub she was under incubation and had to be fed with goat milk and supplements through a syringe by the vet,'' said the other zoo keeper.  Till she was one year old, Gracy would gambol around Vimal as he prepared feed for other lions or cleaned the cages. When she was released into the open enclosure she would follow the familiar zoo staff whenever they walked by the enclosure.

They concluded - “For all her pet-like behaviour, she is still a lion and I have often experienced the animal instinct in Gracy even though I had raised her.'' Looks a real miraculous escape ! – happy ending for the person did not lose his life and the animal too was not harmed.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd Feb 2018.

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