Two white tiger cubs have mauled their keeper to death at a wildlife park in India.
Anji, 40, was killed on Saturday at Bannerghatta Biological Park on the outskirts of Bangalore when the two cubs attacked him as he cleaned their enclosure.
‘The victim was assisting the caretaker in pushing the cats into their enclosure for the night when they turned around and pounced on him as one of the four gates was not shut and latched by then,’ park chief Santosh Kumar said.
According to The Times of India, one of the cubs saw him in the cage and jumped on him before biting his neck.
Another cub then joined in the attack.
An official at the zoo said: ‘When [Anji] started screaming, the tigers got enraged and took him into the safari area. He succumbed to the injuries.
The tigers were eventually driven off by park staff but the victim was already dead.
Some of his body was then eaten by the beasts, according to reports.
‘The felines did not allow the caretaker to retrieve Anji’s body from the spot and were guarding it, which delayed in rushing him to a nearby hospital,’ Kumar said.
Anji was reportedly married with two children.
Anji, who goes by one name, was a daily wage worker and was hired by the national park on October 1 to fill in for a staff member after quitting his previous job as a security guard.
Angry relatives protested outside the park on Sunday and demanded 500,000 rupees ($7,640, £5,821) compensation from authorities, accusing them of negligence.
Two years ago a keeper was injured by lions in the park, according to the Press Trust of India, quoting Kumar.
The 1,346-acre Bannerghatta National Park houses 1,941 animals including Bengal tigers, lions and leopards, according to its website.
White tigers, regarded as an endangered species, are found in southern and eastern Asia, particularly India, and owe their colour to a recessive gene.
India is home to half the world’s tiger population with some 2,226 of the big cats roaming its reserves, according to the last official count in 2014.