Bahawalpur’s Sherbagh Zoo has been temporarily closed as investigations proceed into a tragic incident where a man was mauled to death by lions, as confirmed by Curator Ali Usman Bukhari. Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi and Commissioner Bahawalpur have formed separate committees to probe the incident.
The victim’s identity remains unknown, and preliminary findings from the postmortem conducted at Bahawal Victoria Hospital indicate that the man was fatally attacked and torn apart by the lions. The report suggests the man tried to defend himself, but the animals overwhelmed him.
The zoo administration is puzzled about how the man gained access to the enclosure. The shocking discovery was made during routine cleaning when zoo staff found a shoe in the mouth of one of the lions, leading them to the victim’s body inside the den.
Zaheer Anwar, a senior government official in Bahawalpur, expressed bewilderment, considering the enclosure secure and raising the possibility of the individual jumping from stairs behind the den. Despite the tragic incident, all zoo staff are reportedly accounted for.
According to Zafarullah, an official from the rescue service 1122 in Bahawalpur, the victim’s legs were severely mauled, and investigations are ongoing to determine his identity and the circumstances leading to the incident. Forensic experts are examining the body.
Sherbagh Zoo, operated by Punjab’s wildlife department, has been closed temporarily during the investigation. The zoo, as per its website, charges adults 50 rupees (18 cents) for entry.