Panic gripped visitors and staff after a Royal Bengal tiger broke out of its enclosure in Nandankanan zoo here on Thursday.

According to zoo officials, the Royal Bengal tiger named Suraj escaped from enclosure No 33 inside the tiger safari after being fed. As the enclosure wire had become weak after rusting, the tiger was able to break it, they said.

Zoo authorities immediately swung into action and raised the alarm. All the visitors were safely evacuated out from the premises and all the gates secured.

Later, after a long and thorough inspection, the zoo employees finally spotted Suraj roaming inside the safari and heaved a big sigh of relief. The big cat was brought back to the enclosure, which has been repaired immediately.

“Now, everything has returned to normal and visitors have been allowed inside the zoo again,” Nandankanan Zoo Deputy Director Sanjeet Kumar said.

Meanwhile, the authorities have decided to reopen the zoo for visitors on Saturdays and Sundays in September as the government has lifted the weekend shutdown in the state.

–IANS

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