No one saw the boy as he crossed the chain fence and drew near the cage. He had two chocolates with him and he stuck his hand through the grills and offered one of them to the male tiger, Bhima, the officer said.
The tiger pounced on the boy and tore off his left arm. “Our guard Basavaraj K managed to rescue the child,” said SA Hubert, zoo in-charge and deputy conservator of forests.
The family and the zoo officials are now pointing fingers at each other.
Accusing the zoo officials, Nikhil’s father, Naga Babu said, “There was no guard around”.
Admitting the precautionary measures were inadequate — there was no proper mesh, moat or a guard in attendance — Hubert said, “It is the fault of the guardians. The grandmother was speaking on her cellphone, leaving the boy unattended.”
“We have filed a case against the zoo officials,” said a police officer.
Nikhil, who is under treatment at a hospital in Bellary, is out of danger.