Teenager’s remains found in lion enclosure

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Lahore Safari Pakistan lion enclosure
Lahore Safari, Pakistan's largest zoo, has nearly 40 lions in captivity.PIX: via BBC

LAHORE, PAKISTAN – The remains of a teenage boy have been found in the lion enclosure of a Lahore zoo, a day after he went missing.

Officials said they are investigating how Muhammad Bilal, 17, made it over the fence and what caused his death.

But locals have blamed Mr Bilal’s demise on staff incompetence, and earlier this week the zoo’s offices were ransacked.

The state-back Lahore Safari, established in 1982, is Pakistan’s largest and oldest animal park.

Chaudhry Shafqat, a director at the zoo, told the BBC that people from a nearby village visited the site on Tuesday night asking for help to look for the boy.

“We told them it was too late and could be dangerous to launch a search in the dark,” said Mr Shafqat.

Muhammad Bilal Lahore Safari Pakistan zoo lion
Muhammad Bilal’s relatives said he left home to search for cattle fodder.
PIX: via BBC

During a search on Wednesday morning, zoo employees found a blood-soaked skull, some bones and pieces of torn cloth which the relatives recognised as the missing boy’s clothing.

Officials said relatives told them the boy had left home on Tuesday afternoon to cut grass, which was intended to be used for cattle fodder.

Mr Bilal’s remains have been sent for tests to confirm the cause of death. -BBC

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