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An Indian man was mauled to death by a lion after he scaled the wall of a zoo in northern Punjab state on Monday.
The man, believed to be in his mid-20s, climbed over a 25-foot wall and jumped inside the lion safari area, home to four lions, at Chhatbir Zoo in Punjab.
He was immediately attacked by a lioness called Shilpa, who dragged the helpless man by his neck. A male lion, Yuvraj, also joined in the attack, clamping his jaws around the victim's head.
Hearing his screams, staff rushed to try and rescue the man. They sounded car horns to scare the animals away.
According to media reports, zoo's field director M Sudhagarb formed a five-member team to probe the incident. “It will find out how this incident happened and what was the motive of the man? It will also suggest measures to be taken to prevent such incidents in future," said Sudhagarb.
"It will also probe any lapse on the part of any zoo official," Sudhagarb added. The team has five-day time to submit its report.
Inaugurated in 1977, the zoo is one of the biggest in India. The Chhatbir protected forest area was once a hunting ground of the Maharaja of Patiala. The lion safari continues to be a big draw despite the dwindling number of its inmates.
While it had 87 lions in 1996, now the number is down to four. While two are kept in the enclosure, two are released for the safari.