A sub-adult lion sneaked out of its enclosure at Rajkot Zoological Park popularly known as Pradyuman Park on Wednesday morning. However, its keeper managed to shoe the big cat back into its enclosure within a few minutes even as zoo authorities termed it “a very minor incident” before the public visiting hours.
Sources said that Harivash, the three-year-old male lion escaped from its enclosure located in the heart of the park at around 8:30 am. “Caretaker apparently forgot to lock the door of animal retiring room on the edge of the enclosure after offering breakfast to lions. Minutes later, a lion pushed open the door of the retiring room and walked out of the enclosure. Within minutes, the caretakers came to know about it. Since Harivansh was borne in the enclosure and had some rapport with its caretaker, it responded to calls and walked back into the enclosure via the retiring room,” said a source in the zoo.
Located on the eastern outskirts of the city, Pradyuman Park is one of the best zoos in the state and is also a breeding centre of captive Asiatic lions. The popular park is managed and maintained by Rajkot Municipal Corporation.
Rajkot municipal commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani termed it a very minor incident. “The enclosure has a three-layered security cordon. But the lion managed to walk on the backside of the enclosure. It was brought inside the enclosure soon. It is a very minor incident which took place during non-visiting hours. However, we have taken it very seriously and we shall inquire into it,” Pani told The Indian Express.
The opens to visitors at 9 am. Since the incident took place before the visiting hours, sources said there were no general public inside the zoo at the time of the incident and sources said the zoo staff could handle the situation well.