A stampede broke out in the Sunday crowd at Indore zoo after a tigress leapt out of her cage and into the open. Witnesses say several people fell down and got hurt as thousands, including children, made a panicstricken dash for the exit.
Pandemonium reigned for an hour as the tigress lurked in the dark and forest officials ran helter-skelter trying to find it. Many families were trapped even as the authorities tried frantically to evacuate the zoo. Rumours swirled about in the confusion, adding to the terror. A family of three said the big cat lunged at them, but thankfully no one was hurt. The tigress was finally spotted near the cage around 7.30 pm and foresters used a jeep to drive it back.
Visitors told TOI that the tigress - Jamuna - seemed skittish as dusk fell. The tigress seems to have been upset by loud music playing at a wedding just outside the zoo, said some officials. "Also, some kids were throwing stones at it constantly and there was no zoo official or guard to stop them," said a witness.
Hunt on for maneater leopard in Uttarakhand
A day after a leopard attacked a four-year-old child in Shail village of Gauchar in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district and killed it, the forest department declared the animal a man-eater and issued directions to have it trapped.
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