An inexperienced worker at a zoo in southern India has been mauled to death by two white tiger cubs, leaving his family "up in arms" and demanding compensation for his death, local media is reporting.
Anji, in his early 40s, had entered the tiger enclosure at Bannerghatta Biological Park on Saturday night without realising the gate connecting the feeding area to the wider safari was insecure, Indian media reported.
He tried to escape but two 18-month-old white tigers attacked him and dragged him into the safari area, where he died at the scene.
The incident occurred about 5:30 pm (local time), but the Deccan Chronicle reported that Anji's body could only be recovered about 90 minutes later as authorities had a difficult time driving the two young tigers away.
Several media outlets reported Anji was only hired as a caretaker at the park one week ago, and was helping feed the tigers because one of the senior guards was on leave.
"Since the zoo no longer hires trained permanent employees, untrained contract workers are used. This is dangerous for them and for the animals," a worker told The Hindu.
Anji's relatives and some staff members staged a protest at the gate of the park on the morning after the attack, demanding compensation for his death as well as employment for his son at the park.
His family was "absolutely inconsolable" and "up in arms" about the death, said NEWS9, a local English news channel that covered the protest.
The director of the park, Santosh Kumar, told local media police investigations into Anji's death were ongoing.
The safari at the Bannerghatta Biological Park is home to 26 normal tigers and seven rare white tigers, the park's website said.