Man dies after tiger attack in Guwahati zoo

A 50-year-old man, who had come with his family to Guwahati on a holiday from Sivasagar district in Upper Assam, on Wednesday met an unusual death after two tigers tore off his left arm while he was trying to click their photograph.

State Zoo Divisional Forest Officer Narayan Chandra Mahanta said Jai Prakash Bezbaruah, an instructor at the Junior Technical School at Sivasagar, had put his left arm into the tiger enclosure through the iron grills to take a picture of the tigers when the female tiger pounced on him and caught hold of his arm.

"Even as the man shouted and tried to raise an alarm the male tiger too came and the two tore off his arm," Mahanta said.

Mahanta said two zoo-keepers had seen the visitor going too close to the enclosure.

"They tried to stop him from getting too close but by the time they could come to his rescue, he had already put his left arm in and the tigers pounced upon him," Mahanta told The Indian Express.

Mahanta took the victim to the GMC Hospital. "But by the time we reached the hospital he was already dead," Mahanta said. The incident occurred at about 2:10 pm.

The victim had come to Guwahati with his wife and two sons three days ago and was supposed to return to Sivasagar today. The zoo was the last place of visit in their itinerary.

The tigers Govardhan and Divya believed to be between 10 and 12 years of age, were brought to the Guwahati zoo in 2000 from Mysore in exchange of a pair of one-horned rhinoceros.

Wednesday's was the third such incident of death in the zoo in the last four decades. "While two persons had committed suicide by jumping into the tiger enclosure in two separate incidents several years ago, one young girl was saved even after she jumped into it in a suicide bid," Mahanta said.

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