Indian Lion from Nehru Zoological park Hyderabad
Indian Lion from Nehru Zoological park Hyderabad. Image/Rameshng, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

A 38-year-old man in India was mauled to death by a lion after he jumped into its enclosure at Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, on Thursday.

The man, identified as Prahlad Gujjar, reportedly jumped into the enclosure to take a selfie with the lion. Gujjar, from Alwar, Rajasthan, was reportedly in an inebriated state when he took the step, per the local media reports.

The security guard at the enclosure ran to stop the man when he saw him climbing the fence, but he jumped into the water tank inside the enclosure before he could be stopped.

"When he saw the security guard running towards him, Gujjar jumped on to a water tank and climbed over the 12-foot-high fence surrounding the enclosure, which has a lion and two lionesses," said Tirupati police official Mallika Garg.

"He jumped and fell in front of the lions, which mauled him. He died on the spot," the officer added. The police are now trying to locate Gujjar's family, per The Independent.

In a similar incident reported from India's capital, New Delhi, a 20-year-old man was killed by a white tiger after he reportedly fell 18 feet into its enclosure.

Pictures from terrified onlookers showed the man cowering in a corner before the tiger pounced and killed him. Witnesses had said the tiger "watched" him for up to 15 minutes while nobody was around to help him.

The gruesome incident had hit headlines the world over, prompting the zoo authorities to review security measures. In 2019, a 25-year-old mentally unstable man jumped into the enclosure of a lion at a Delhi zoo, but he was lucky enough to be rescued in time by the zoo staff.

In December last year, a zookeeper in India died after being attacked by a hippopotamus while clearing its cage.

The incident occurred at the Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The 40-year-old employee, Suraj Dhanuk, was pronounced dead at the scene. Another worker also sustained injuries in the attack.

Another zookeeper was mauled to death by a Himalayan black bear at a zoo in Vizianagaram district the same month.

In this case, the animal keeper had entered the bear enclosure to clean it. The victim had accidentally left the bear's cage door open while he was cleaning the enclosure.

"It happened due to the keeper's negligence, as he deviated from established protocols. He should have ensured that the doors were promptly closed and locked. The animal keepers are usually vigilant, but this was a rare occurrence," the zoo curator told The Times of India.