Fatal captive tiger attack – A case report with review of literature

Tanuj Kanchan, Raghvendra Singh Shekhawat, B. Suresh Kumar Shetty, Lakshmi Jayaram, Vikas P. Meshram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The attacks on humans by big captive felids has been an issue of concern for the administration of zoological parks and wildlife conservationists. The theme of human-animal conflict takes a new dimension for the wild animals kept in zoos, circuses, exotic animal farms, and private custody. Despite the potential dangers involved, the zookeepers have to closely interact with the captive tigers for catering to the needs of food, general health, and wellbeing. The literature has described cases of attacks by captive tigers resulting in the death of the primary caretaker. The injuries present on such bodies include multiple punctured lacerations, traumatic amputations, damage to the vital organs of the neck, fracture-dislocation of cervical vertebrae, and abrasions secondary to the dragging of the body. We present a rare fatal case of an attack of a tiger on keeper during the night hours while he entered the cage to look after the tiger who was suffering from gastroenteritis for a few days and was not taking his feed aptly. The keeper had a twelve-year long relation with the tiger, and the discovery of his death was an astonishment for zoo administration. This case describes the autopsy findings emphasizing the distribution of injuries, along with inquiring into the scene of the incident. The details about the predatory behaviour of tigers and stereotypic behaviours in captivity have been discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102100
JournalJournal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 02-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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