An animal keeper in Bannerghatta Biological Park near Bengaluru was mauled to death by two white tiger cubs on Sunday. The 41-year-old keeper, Anji, took the job only last week and succumbed to injuries sustained by the cub attack. Although the kin of deceased has demanded a compensation of Rs 5,00,000 from the authorities but the police have registered the case as unnatural death.

According to sources, the keeper went inside the enclosure of the big cats to put their food oblivious to the fact that the cubs were sitting loose and their cage door was open. While he was in the enclosure, the cubs jumped at him and attacked him brutally. After severely injuring the keeper, the white tiger cubs guarded his body which disabled the other zoo officials to rush him to a hospital.

A zoo official said after the incident, “It’s a practice to feed tigers after the safaris are over around 5pm. Anjaneya entered the cage to clean bones, not realizing the tigers were there. Soorya, a tiger adopted by MLA Ashok Kheny, and its cubs Vanya and Jhansi Rani were resting inside.”

WHile speaking to the media, executive director of the Bannerghatta Biological Park, Santosh Kumar said, “The incident happened around 5.30pm. Anjaneya failed to properly operate the gates of the holding place and the safari area. This resulted in the tigers attacking him. His neck was bitten.”

The keeper died at the spot only since he couldn’t get any immediate medical attention and his body was retrieved much later. The grieving family of Anji has appealed to the state government and zoo authorities, demanding a compensation of Rs 5,00,000 for his death. He was the sole earner of bread for his family, hence his wife and two children are seeking a compensation.