BAHAWALPUR, Pakistan — A man’s lifeless body was discovered inside a big cat enclosure at Sherbagh Zoo in Bahawalpur, Pakistan on Wednesday. The grim discovery was made by zoo staff during routine cleaning when they noticed a shoe in the mouth of one of the big cats.

Zaheer Anwar, a senior government official in Bahawalpur, shared details of the incident with the media. He described how the staff became suspicious and eventually found the body inside the den. Anwar referred to the animal as a big cat, a term that could encompass either a tiger or a leopard, both of which are housed in the zoo.

According to Anwar, preliminary investigations suggest that the man’s actions were irrational. “Our assessment so far is that this appears to be a lunatic, because a sensible person would not jump into the den,” he stated. Anwar also pointed out that the den is securely enclosed, raising the possibility that the man may have jumped into the enclosure from the stairs located behind it.

The victim’s identity and how he came to be in the den are still unknown, with the case under investigation by the authorities. Zafarullah, an official from the rescue service 1122 in Bahawalpur, noted that the victim’s legs had been severely mauled and the body appeared to be several hours old. Forensic experts are currently examining the body to gather further evidence.

This incident follows a recent tragedy in India, where a zookeeper was fatally mauled by a black bear at the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park. The mishap was said to have occurred due to the staffer accidentally leaving the night house doors open while cleaning the enclosure.

Authorities from Punjab’s wildlife department have not yet issued a statement regarding the incident at Sherbagh Zoo. The investigation into the man’s death continues, and further updates are expected as forensic experts work to uncover more information.

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