A Bengal tiger killed a youth in Delhi zoo and the news went viral. Some even gave a communal twist to the tragedy. Media were in a hurry to gather clip for the TRP, but as a human the entire saga was so painful that my heart came to mouth after watching it. What will be the condition of that young guy to see his death staring at him and what must be the insecurity of that animal, which is caged and irritated by human species? Still it’s not that tiger’s fault, so I condemn all those advocating its killing. Maqsood, 20, who was clawed to death by a white tiger at the Delhi zoo, lived in Delhi with his family. With all sympathies to Maqsood, he should have been careful while taking pictures. He fell into the enclosure of the animal; nobody can do anything about it. It was purely Maqsood’s mistake. Visitors always do foolishness and show heroism in the zoo by climbing the grills or fences and tease animals, though strictly warned by security guards and message display but people don’t care about it. Remember, it is for your security purpose only, so please don’t ignore it.
The boy jumped inside due to his obsession; while he was there, his senseless friends started throwing stones on the tiger which made the tiger leave the area but focus on his prey. All this happened within a matter of few minutes. It was sheer foolishness of the victim to jump and his friends to throw stone. I have watched the video, you cannot blame the animal. Anyways, after all this tragedy, the white tiger is behaving normal and ate his normal meal. Zoo doctors who examined him found him absolutely normal and the big cat did not seem to be in any kind of stress.
I feel, prompt intervention by zoo officials could have saved Maqsood’s life. Eyewitnesses said he sat frightened inside the moat for about 10 minutes in front of Vijay (white tiger) after taking long time the tiger attacked him. While Praveen, a guard, called his seniors on the wireless immediately, many things could have been done in the minutes before the tiger attacked. The entire ruckus over a simple solution where the zoo can use cross-linked barb wires that are 7 feet or more in height. We can watch the tiger but not climb the barbed wire. When we use barbed wires in prisons and security installations to keep out an intruder, do the authorities have no presence of mind to use the same practice in zoos, especially where we have a lot of precedents of lunatics jumping into the enclosures? 10 minutes is more than enough to kill anybody.
Maqsood could have also been pulled out with a collapsible ladder. Some eyewitnesses said senior officials, who have the authority to direct keepers, arrived after 15 minutes. Keepers could have helped distract the animal quickly. However, help was delayed. The boy must have followed the instructions but places like zoo where there is minimum response time should be well prepared for such unfortunate incidents. A bigger fencing rather than a small wall could have been more secure or guard equipped with tranquillizer gun could have saved the boy. Certainly there is mistake from both the ends. There was plenty of time for the Zoo authorities to carry out rescue operation. But, they may not be adequately prepared. Shooting down the beast to save the human life would have been one option.
In some previous incidents, it was the people who flouted rules and didn’t obey the guidelines. Why should the tiger or the officials be punished for a stupid person’s buffoonery?
Almost after the 24 hours of his tragic death, the family recollects that it was his new-found love for tigers that had led him to his death. A random visit to the zoo sometime in June had got him obsessed with tigers and he often spoke about it to his wife and family members. The visits became frequent after he lost his job as a porter a few weeks ago. Maqsood had married Fatima, a woman from Kolkata, a year ago. Of late, he had heard about stories of Bengal tigers and how a tiger had mauled two men at Alipur zoo when they had gone to garland the animal back in 1995. According to his family, he was under treatment for mental illness. He was progressing well but such illnesses do have their highs and lows and this time perhaps it was a high that caused him to enter the enclosure foolishly. It was his mental incapacity that led him to the jaws of death. Animals will behave as they are expected to and effective barriers can be designed for it. No barriers can be designed to prevent, or warning boards erected to stop false human bravado — for that special selfie. The sad consequence of one human’s stupidity is that the animal had a bad belly due to unfamiliar meat, and possibly humans are easy targets. For humans, one village will miss its idiot. RIP Maqsood. My heartfelt condolences to the family of Maqsood.