KARACHI: A lion attacked a zookeeper when he was feeding the big cat from the front side of its cage at the Karachi Zoological Gardens on Monday.

An official said Kannu was feeding raw meat to the lion when the animal grabbed his arm. His screams attracted a number of zoo visitors and other employees who rushed to the scene, where Kannu already managed to come out of the cage. He was rushed to the Civil Hospital Karachi, where his condition was said to be stable.

Later, a video of the incident went viral showing the zookeeper struggling helplessly against the lion who took more than 40 seconds to loosen its grip on Kannu’s arm. The zookeeper was seen leaving with bloodstained left arm amid screams and shouts of the visitors apparently to divert the attention of the lion.

“Our staff member was provided immediate treatment and he’s stable now,” said zoo director Qamar Ayub. “It’s an unfortunate incident and we have all sympathy with the zookeeper. We are providing best possible treatment to him and hope that he would be back home in two to three days.”

The official said that the zookeeper had violated the defined rules while feeding the big cat from the front side of the cage.

He said that the Karachi mayor took very serious notice and once he resumes duty, an inquiry committee would look into the matter and identify the people behind this negligence.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2019