White tiger cubs maul keeper to death in India

A newly born Indian white tiger cub yawns in its enclosure at Liberec Zoo, Czech Republic, April 25, 2016. (File photo by Reuters)
Updated 08 October 2017

White tiger cubs maul keeper to death in India

BANGALORE, India: Two white tiger cubs have mauled their keeper to death at a wildlife national park in southern India, an official said on Sunday.
Anji, 40, was killed late Saturday at Bannerghatta Biological Park on the outskirts of Bangalore when the two cubs attacked him as he herded them into their enclosure, park chief Santosh Kumar told AFP.
“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,” Kumar said.
The tigers were eventually driven off by park staff but the victim was already dead.
“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, who goes by one name, was a daily wage worker and was hired by the national park earlier this month to fill in for a staff member.
Angry relatives protested outside the park on Sunday and demanded 500,000 rupees ($7,640) 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 (545-hectare) 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 color 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.


Man suspected of killing wife, three children in Australia fire

Updated 20 February 2020

Man suspected of killing wife, three children in Australia fire

  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country was ‘shocked, saddened and devastated’ by the tragedy
  • A passer-by who tried to intervene in the situation was also taken to hospital to be treated for facial burns

SYDNEY: An ex-rugby league player is suspected of murdering his three children and estranged wife in Australia by burning them alive inside their car, in what police described as one of the most horrific incidents they have encountered.

Officers said 31-year-old Hannah Clarke died in a Brisbane hospital on Wednesday just hours after her three children aged three, four and six were found dead in the car on a suburban street.

Her husband, Rowan Baxter, who also died, allegedly approached the vehicle and doused it with petrol before setting it alight, The Australian newspaper reported.

The paper said Clarke jumped from the burning car and rolled on the ground, saying “he’s poured petrol on me.”

Officials said she was rushed to hospital with severe burns following the “horrific” incident but later succumbed to her injuries.

Baxter, a 42-year-old former rugby league player for the New Zealand Warriors, was believed to be in the burning vehicle but got out and died on a footpath.

Queensland Police detective inspector Mark Thompson said Thursday that Baxter died as a result of burns and a self-inflicted wound.

“Information that’s to hand has led us to believe that the Baxter children and Hannah Clarke were killed and I don’t believe there’s any suspicious circumstances around the death of Rowan Baxter,” he said.

Clarke’s sister-in-law, Stacey Roberts, set up a fundraiser to pay for funeral costs and support Hannah’s parents, who she said had “exhausted themselves to try and help Hannah escape this monster.”

“All those who knew Hannah or had even just met her once would know how much of a beautiful soul she was. Her children (were) her life,” Roberts posted on Facebook.

The page has so far raised almost Aus$100,000 ($67,000).

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country was “shocked, saddened and devastated” by the tragedy, which has led to an outpouring of grief on social media.

“Hannah and her three children were so senselessly and maddeningly murdered in what has occurred in a terrible act of violence and it just grieves our hearts terribly today,” he said.

Natasha Stott Despoja, a former senator and chair of anti-violence group Our Watch, called for stronger action to address violence against women in Australia, which she described as a “national emergency.”

“I know people want change, people are angry & sad today,” she tweeted. “How long before we stop this slaughter in our suburbs?“

A passer-by who tried to intervene in the situation was also taken to hospital to be treated for facial burns, a Queensland Ambulance Service spokesperson said.

The emergency responders who attended the scene have been stood down from their duties and will receive support, he added.