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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

lion escapes cage in Leipzig zoo ~ only to be shot dead in Germany

Man ~ animal – crossing of paths do occur – what is the result ??   Leipzig is the largest city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany, located about 160 km southwest of Berlin at the confluence of the White Elster, Pleisse, and Parthe rivers at the southern end of the North German Plain. Leipzig has been a trade city since at least the time of Roman Empire. After WW, Leipzig  played a significant role in instigating the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, through events which took place in and around St. Nicholas Church.

A couple of years ago, in  a grisly incident, witnessed by scores and captured live on many cameras, a 200-kg tiger mauled and killed a youth after he fell into the animal's moat in the Delhi Zoo…… that gory incident went viral on  social media, also raising the Q on why people who were keen on filming the incident did not respond in any manner trying to help the victim. 

In another incident in  Chile, a man reportedly stripped naked, jumped in to lion enclosure, in a bid to feed himself to the big cat – a suicide attempt of a different order. The man, named by local media as Franco Luis Ferrada Roman, was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and was said to be in grave condition.  The man survived but in the process, two animals,  African lions rare to that place, that  did nothing wrong were killed.The attack occurred in full view of visitors, who could only watch in horror as the man was mauled and the lions - one male, one female - were killed. One witness, told Chilean radio station  that the man was 'shouting things about Jesus'.  Sadly, it was the animals which paid with their lives for the insane act of the man. 

In yet another incident, at Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, located in Ohio,  a 400-pound gorilla named Harambe who was shot dead just one day after his 17th birthday  - with emotional  mourners calling  it a 'senseless death'. A four-year-old boy, who investigators believe crawled through a railing barrier and fell into the gorilla exhibit's moat before he was dragged by Harambe in the water for about 10 minutes.  It reportedly was sheer negligence of the mother, the child entered the enclosure, big gorilla touched the child.  The panicked bystanders may have aggravated the tense situation, according to an eyewitness.  The  zoo's dangerous animal response team  shot dead the gorilla – with some remarking that a beautiful, innocent gorilla had to die because neglectful parents can't control their kids?  According to the officials,  the gorilla did not appear to be attacking the child, but they called it 'an extremely strong' animal in an agitated situation.  It was further  explained that tranquilizing the gorilla would not have knocked it out immediately, leaving the boy in danger. 

All these were humans entering the protected enclosures ~ this incident in German zoo reported in MailOnline proves that if one animal were to escape and cross human’s pathway – it would still suffer the same fate. 

The lion, named Motshegetsi, escaped at Leipzig Zoo, along with another one-year-old lion called Majo.  The attraction was closed while staff tried to find the missing animals.  Later, Majo was tranquilized, but a zookeeper shot Motshegetsi dead after a tranquilizer failed to stop him – it is not known, how the lions had escaped - It happened while the zoo was closed to the public.  It is reported that last year,  a tiger was shot dead at Leipzig Zoo when a partition was removed by accident.

Zoo director Joerg Junhold said: 'It's a very, very sad outcome but we had no choice.'Zoo staff implemented an emergency plan, placing the facility on lockdown so the animals could not breach the facility's fences.'After Majo was caught and Motshegetsi was hit with a tranquiliser dart, we were hopeful that the breakout could end without any loss of life,' Junhold said.But staff soon realised they had lost control of the situation, and a zookeeper shot and killed Motshegetsi.'Human safety always comes first,' Junhold said.

The two lions, originally from Namibia, only arrived in Leipzig last month from Basel Zoo.  They had been given  weeks to get used to their new home before being released into an enclosure where they could be seen by the public.The escape 'surprised all of us because the enclosure had been in operation for 15 years. Of course we assume that it is secure,' Junhold said.

Back home, it was the same African lion enclosure, slightly different incident, with a much different result. It  was a drunken man’s misadventure into the enclosure of lions, in Hyderabad, seemingly to shake hands with a lioness.

In India – different things do happen – and at Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad, the alertness of the zoo animal keepers, prevented the loss of life.  Indian Express reported that it was around 4.55 pm when 35-year-old Mukesh Kumar jumped into the moat, ignoring the warnings of onlookers, calling the lioness 'darling'. As he splashed into the water, the lioness Radhika moved towards him. Soon her partner, lion Krishna too started approaching the intruder. Mukesh, however, was not the one to fear. In a fully inebriated state, Mukesh extended his hand towards the wild animals. As the onlookers screamed in panic and started throwing whatever they could at the lions to ward them away from Mukesh, the animal keepers rushed to the spot. Animal keeper R Papaiah called Radhika, the lioness, to move aside even as Mukesh kept extending his arm to her.

To the luck of  Mukesh Kumar,  Papaiah,native of Rajasthan,  who has been taking care of the two wild cats for the last seven years, also intervened calling the two to step back. The animal keepers managed to divert the attention of the wildcats, while Mukesh, after much pleading, was rescued from the jaws of death without a scratch and then handed over to the police.  Zoo curator ShivaniDogra, who took charge only a day earlier, appealed to the visitors to follow rules to ensure their safety.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

4th Oct 2016.

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