A man has been mauled to death by a White Tiger at a New Delhi zoo after he climbed over a fence and jumped into the animal's enclosure.
The 20-year-old man ignored repeated warnings not to get too close to the enclosure, according to a spokesman for the National Zoological Park. He was seen climbing a knee-high fence before walking through some small hedges and jumping down an 18-foot drop into a protective moat.
Witnesses said earlier that the man - identified by police only as Maqsood - may have slipped and fallen into the moat, rather than jumping in deliberately.The male tiger, which is kept on a grassy, tree-filled island at the zoo, grabbed the man and pulled him from the moat. Footage broadcast on NDTV showed the tiger carrying the man around the island. Onlookers and zoo officials tried to divert the attention of the tiger by pelting it with stones and making a noise. A witness named Himanshu said: "The man was cowering in fear and appeared to be pleading with folded hands to the tiger to spare him."
The attack went on for up to 15 minutes before staff at the zoo eventually frightened the tiger into a small cage inside the enclosure.
Belinda Wright has worked to protect India's wild tigers for many years. She said the tiger was not to blame for the incident.
"The tiger was just being a tiger. An unusual object fell into his domain ... He's a wild animal in captivity. It is certainly not the tiger's fault." she said.
White Tigers are an endangered species. In 2011, India was home to more than half the world's population of the species.