UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA – A cleaning operation at Lucknow Zoo in Uttar Pradesh, India, turned suddenly fatal when an enormous hippopotamus attacked a worker on Monday. Named Suraj, 40, was the staff member victimized in the deadly attack. He had entered the hippo enclosure with a co-worker to carry out standard maintenance. The animal was supposed to be securely caged throughout this procedure, but somehow, it was able to break free and charge at Suraj, leading to his swift death.
Suraj had been employed at the zoo for approximately 12 years, contributing his skills in cleaning and feeding activities. He leaves behind his wife and two children. Raju, the second zoo keeper involved in the incident, was also injured by the hippo attack but was fortunate to survive. He has since been hospitalized and is reported to be in stable condition.
This deadly confrontation took place while the zoo was closed to the public. The runaway animal was promptly secured, with no further casualties recorded.
The hippopotamus that killed the worker was a recent transfer to Lucknow Zoo from Kanpur Zoo, having transferred mere weeks ago. An official from the zoo suggested that proper enclosure security may have been overlooked throughout this cleaning operation.
Aditi Sharma, the director of Lucknow Zoo, has promised a detailed enquiry into this disastrous event, stating that any identified errors would be speedily modified.
Lucknow Zoo, established in 1921, maintains homes for over 1000 wild animals from 104 species, including lions, tigers, bears, hyenas and the recent addition, the hippopotamus.