WHY THE LION ATTACT THE MAN? 1

That an adventurous young man was attacked by a caged lion just the other day (19/12/07) at the ‘Assam State Zoo” is not significant in the event itself, it carries a comment on the issue too far.

The young man visiting the zoo with his wife and child was a little too adventurous that despite the warning of the zoo guard crossed the danger line to take a ‘real” close up of a tiger in its cage but both hungry and angry lion was too fast to catch the man by hand which was accompanied by a tigress and took away the right hand of the young man from the joint of the soldier bone and he finally succumbed to the injury and more of the shock at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital on the same day.

We of course sympathize with the ill fate of the man and share the grief with his bereaved family. But we knowingly or unknowingly miss a link here. The first big question spontaneously attached to the event is how could a caged lion from an improbable distance manage to catch hold of the man with a camera in hand? Was the lion angry or was it hungry? Answer could be both. And both are important.

Now pondering over the case – a lion accompanied by a lioness in the cage attacking a man, if taken as mere an incident it would be similar to overlooking a serious issue. First, the management of the Zoo. Probability lies that the beasts were not sufficiently fed as they require good amount of meat every day and the zoo authority, particularly in Guwahati is often alleged of its responsibility. If the born free animals like tiger, lion that are beautiful in their natural habitation are caged in a narrow cage; this is natural that they would be frustrated and furious and given a chance can cause any untoward incident.

The lion that attacked the man must have been hungry enough to take a chance but succeeded partially and in my view the beast is not to blame for its act as gaming is its instinct and human being has deprived it from its freedom. What if a man was celled like a tiger or a lion?

Now if Maneka Gandhi is all with arms against misappropriation of animals in the Circus why is it not a valid point that she raises her voice against caging animals in the zoo where it is more than in Circus they undergo pain and agony?

Regards

Rajiv. The second day of the month January 08.