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Tigers maul man to death inside big cat exhibit at Pakistan zoo

Four tigers, inside the big cat exhibit at Pakistan's Bahawalpur's Sherbagh Zoo, mauled an unidentified man to death. His body was discovered Wednesday when staff, conducting their routine cleaning, noticed a shoe inside a tiger's mouth. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Four tigers, inside the big cat exhibit at Pakistan's Bahawalpur's Sherbagh Zoo, mauled an unidentified man to death. His body was discovered Wednesday when staff, conducting their routine cleaning, noticed a shoe inside a tiger's mouth. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 6 (UPI) -- An unidentified man was found mauled to death inside the tiger exhibit at a Pakistan zoo on Wednesday as staff conducted routine cleaning.

Officials at Bahawalpur's Sherbagh Zoo, in the eastern province of Punjab, said the body was discovered after workers noticed a shoe inside the mouth of one of the four tigers.

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"When they cleaned the zoo and the dens, they found the animal holding a shoe in its mouth," Zaheer Anwar, a senior government official in Bahawalpur, told reporters. "The staff got suspicious and then they found a body inside the den," he added.

All of the staff at the zoo are accounted for. Investigators are still working to determine the identity of the man and how he got into the exhibit.

Bahawalpur Zoo describes the tiger and big cat exhibits, on its website, as "more modern moated enclosures."

"It is yet not known who he is and how he got there. It is being investigated. The body looked several hours old," said Zafarullah, an official of the rescue service 1122 in Bahawalpur, who added that there have been no reports of a missing person.

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"Our assessment so far is that he appears to be a lunatic, because a sensible person would not jump into the den," Anwar said. "You can see that the den is secured. There are stairs behind the den. Maybe he jumped from there."

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