A 50-year-old zookeeper at the National Zoological Park was attacked by an eight-year-old Royal Bengal tiger early Tuesday morning, said zoo officials.
The incident took place around 4 am when zookeeper Fateh Singh and a contractual labourer went to give water to Rama, the tiger.
“The tiger has been unwell since July and the zookeepers routinely visit it to keep an eye on the animal and give it water or food. At 4 am, when Singh went to check on it, Rama suddenly snapped and hit him on his right hand with its front paw from inside the cage,” said a source at the zoo.
Singh was rushed to RML hospital where he received stitches on two fingers. He was discharged soon after.
Rama, who was transferred from the Mysuru zoo in 2014, has been ailing since July, said a zoo source.
“Rama stopped eating and on July 27, vet Dr Abhijit Bhawal was informed about its sickness. Treatment is on but it’s not doing too well. On Tuesday morning, Rama snapped… since it is a carnivore, we have to be careful. Rama has not behaved in this manner in the past,” said the source.