BAHAWALPUR: The man mauled by tigers in a Bahawalpur zoo cage on Wednesday has been identified as Muhammad Bilawal, 28, from Green Town, Lahore, according to information gathered by Dawn on Thursday.

Identification was confirmed through his fingerprints by the police and Nadra teams.

The Bahawalpur police said they had informed deceased’s father Muhammad Javed about the incident, and he is en route to Bahawalpur to collect the body.

In a preliminary statement over the phone, Mr Javed said Bilawal struggled with addiction and had undergone rehabilitation twice.

Bilawal had a history of disappearing from home for two to three days and returning on his own.

The late Bilawal also had a police record, being involved in three cases. The postmortem has been completed, and the body is currently in the morgue of the Bahawal Victoria Hospital.

The police say they will hand over the body to the father, or legal action against zoo officials may be pursued if the heirs choose to proceed in accordance with the law.

Simultaneously, the inquiry committee has finalised its preliminary report, highlighting security lapses on the zoo premises and alleged negligence by the zoo employees on duty.

Actions against those found guilty will be proposed in the detailed report, expected within a week.

Officiating zoo curator Ali Usman Bokhari told Dawn that Punjab Secretary for Wildlife Wahead Muddasar and South Punjab Secretary Magsi visited the zoo to inquire into the shocking incident’s details.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2023

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