February 26, 2020 / 1:37 PM / a month ago

Remains of teenager found in lion enclosure at Pakistan safari park

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) - The remains of a teenager who had been missing for two days have been found in the lions’ enclosure at a safari park in Pakistan, officials said.

Men walk near a cordoned area, after remains of a teenager, who had been missing for two days, were found in the lions' enclosure at a safari park in Lahore, Pakistan February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

The skull and bones of 18-year-old Muhammad Bilal were discovered when staff went to feed the animals on Wednesday, Chaudhry Shafqat, deputy director general of Lahore Safari Park, said.

His family later ransacked parts of the attraction to protest at what they said was incompetence by park authorities, police said. Members of Bilal’s family declined to comment to Reuters at the park, too upset to speak to reporters.

Shafqat told Reuters the park had “more than enough safety measures in place”, and questioned whether Bilal had been killed before his body ended up in the enclosure.

“We are still wondering how he crossed the protective fence which is quite high and entered the lions’ field,” he said, adding the young man had been missing for the past two days.

“I think the police will also investigate whether the man himself climbed the fence and went inside or someone threw his dead body inside for the lions to eat.”

He said Bilal’s family told him and the police he had gone to the park to see one of his uncles who worked there.

Police official Najeeb Awan said they were investigating the incident. Awan said Bilal’s family and neighbours attacked offices at the attraction, smashed windows and damaged vehicles.

They also blocked a main highway and demanded the government initiate criminal proceedings against the park’s management, Awan said.

(This story corrects to add missing word in the first paragraph)

Writing by Asif Shahzad; Editing by Alison Williams

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