LAHORE:A man was found dead inside a big cat enclosure at Bahawalpur’s Sherbagh Zoo on Wednesday after staff spotted a shoe in the mouth of one of the big cats, officials said.
"When they cleaned the zoo and the dens, they found the (animal) holding a shoe in its mouth. The staff got suspicious and then they found a body inside the den," Zaheer Anwar, a senior government official in Bahawalpur, told the media.
The official described the big cat using a word that in Pakistan can mean tiger or leopard, and both are believed to be housed inside the zoo. 'Our assessment so far is that this appears to be a lunatic because a sensible person would not jump into the den,' Anwar said.
'You can see that the den is secured. There are stairs behind the den, maybe he jumped from there. (The staff are all accounted for).' Zafarullah, an official of the rescue service 1122 in Bahawalpur, told AFP that the victim’s legs had been heavily mauled. 'It is yet not known who he is and how he got there. It is being investigated. The body looked several hours old,' said Zafarullah.
He said forensic experts were examining the body. The zoo is run by Punjab’s wildlife department, according to its website, and costs adults Rs50 to enter. The department has not commented.