Thiruvananthapuram: The Thiruvananthapuram zoo witnessed dramatic moments when a mentally ill man jumped into the enclosure of a lioness and crawled towards it but was rescued in time by the zoo keepers on Wednesday.
The man, identified as Murugan, 35, hailing from Ottapalam in Palakkad, was admitted to the government general hospital here and kept under observation. Murugan was reported missing from his house from Sunday and his relatives had filed a man missing case.
The incident happened around 11 a.m. when Murugan scaled a seven-feet wall in the zoo and jumped into the 15-metre deep enclosure. He crossed a dry moat and crawled towards the three-year-old lioness named Gracy. Some visitors who witnessed it screamed and the zoo guards, zoo keepers and officials rushed to the spot.
Though the officials shouted at Murugan to come back, he moved towards the lioness in the 7000 square-feet enclosure. Some zoo keepers tried to divert the attention of the lioness and persuade it to enter the cage. As the attempts failed, a team led by supervisor C. Radhakrishnan and consisting of zoo keepers Retheesh, Arshad, G. Shaiju, M. Rajeev, Udayalal, T.S. Arun, V.R. Baiju, B. Kiran Babu, A.S. Saji and K. Madhu took Murugan out.