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Tigress escapes cage

A white tigress at the National Zoological Park in the Capital jumped out from its cage into a corral; however, it was tranquilised before it could jump beyond the main enclosure. This was possibly a first of its kind incident for the Delhi zoo. Nivedita Khandekar reports.

delhi Updated: Mar 21, 2011 23:15 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

A white tigress at the National Zoological Park in the Capital jumped out from its cage into a corral; however, it was tranquilised before it could jump beyond the main enclosure. This was possibly a first of its kind incident for the Delhi zoo.

The incident occurred around 11am when the tigress - named Khushi, one of the animals in white tiger enclosures in beat number eight, climbed the iron net to jump across from the cage to the corral (small enclosure) within the larger enclosure for the beat. The small enclosure is on the west side of the cage and beyond it is a walking track connecting the reptile house.

As soon as the zoo authorities got to know of the incident, they embarked on the operation to put the animal back to its cage. The operation went on for about an hour wherein tranquilliser darts were used to sedate Khushi. As a measure of safety, the zoo staff guided the visitors away from the beat enclosure and the entry was closed for more than an hour.

"There was nothing to panic about (as) the animal did not venture out of the main enclosure. We sent visitors away from the enclosure as a precautionary measure," said AK Agnihotri, director, National Zoological Park.

"The tigress was put back to its cage after sedating it," Agnihotri said, adding, "The animal was later seen frolicking in the enclosure."

Later, an official, who has been part of the zoo administration for more than two decades, said, "In all these years, this is the first of its kind experience."

Zoo sources said, "The incident possibly took place because there was a substitute staff working at the cage instead of the regular person, who was on leave."

The officials are yet to confirm the exact chain of incidents after an inquiry.