The white tiger that killed a 19-year-old man at Delhi Zoo is ‘fine’ and ‘doing alright’. “He is absolutely normal. We will soon get a report on how much he ate or how he behaved.
He didn’t receive any injuries. But a team of doctors will do a check-up on Wednesday. We have cleaned up the enclosure.” The zoo has no plans to remove the tiger.
“Why remove him? He is not a man-eater. He just mauled the youth because he didn’t like the sudden intrusion.” Vijay, the 200-kg tiger, was born to Laxman and Yamuna in 2007. The seven-year-old male tiger is not aggressive. “He was born and raised in the zoo,” he said, adding, “The tiger did not attack the youth for the first few minutes, he became violent only after someone threw a stone at him.” The tiger grabbed the young man by the neck as horrified onlookers screamed and threw sticks and stones to try and save him.
The victim’s body lay in a corner of the enclosure, draped in a white sheet, for quite some time. Eventually, the authorities managed to push back the tiger into a small cage inside the enclosure.
Video clips showed the tiger “roaming around” the enclosure, holding the victim by the neck. The zoo has three white tigers, although only one of them is let out into the enclosure daily for visitors to see, a zoo official said.
Vijay was kept in the enclosure that comes under beat number 8 at the zoo.
He has been kept with two tigresses — Puttu and Veena. Vijay is a tree-climber and he is kept out of cage from 9.30am to 1 pm. Each beat has three staff comprising a keeper, an assistant keeper and an attendant.
There are a total of 42 security guards across the zoo on normal days while on Saturdays and Sundays the number is extended to 52.