THE LION Safari at Mohendra Choudhary Zoological Park, better known as Chhatbir Zoo, in Mohali was opened Saturday after remaining closed for nearly a fortnight after a man was mauled to death by a pair of lions on December 20. International Wetland Day was also marked at the zoo Saturday.
The deceased was identified as Jata Shankar, 34, from Bahraich district in Uttar Pradesh. He had been suffering from depression. He was mauled to death by a lion and a lioness, Yuvraj and Shilpa, after he entered the safari in an unauthorised manner by scaling a 13-ft iron grill installed at the boundary wall of the Safari.
Harpal Singh, range officer (animal management) at Chhatbir Zoo, said, “We re-opened the lion safari on the occasion of International Wetland day. The behaviour of Yuvraj and Shilpa has become normal.We closely observed their activities, behaviour and movements. A large number of visitors came on Saturday. We are in the process of taking strict measures, including increasing the height of boundary wall and the manpower deputed for patrolling around the zoo. The decision to re-open the safari was taken after discussions with senior wildlife department officials. The lion safari will remain open as usual for visitors except on Mondays, the weekly holiday for the zoo, and other days when necessary arrangements were to made in the safari.”
Meanwhile, students of a private school turned guides for visitors Saturday as they emphasised the signification of conservation of flora and fauna. Chhatbir zoo had remained closed for two days after the death of Jata Shankar and was re-opened on December 23.