A Royal Bengal tigress in India fatally mauled a 35-year-old zoo attendant at a biological park Tuesday.

The victim, identified as Poulash Karmakar from the state of Assam, had entered the tigress’ cage to clean the pond water.

“I was informed of the incident by one of our animal attendants. When I reached the zoo along with a doctor and other staff, Karmakar was already dead. He was found bleeding from the face,” zoo curator Raya Flago told East Mojo. “There are three gates that lead to the cage, and all of them had been left open. We are assuming that this led to the tigress attacking the zoo attendant.”

Flago said a police investigation has been launched into the case. Local authorities said the police have filed a case of unnatural death. The victim's body was sent for an autopsy to RK Mission Hospital. Following the autopsy, his body would be handed over to his family members.

“We did not see anything suspicious, and it seems to be a case of negligence, as per preliminary investigation,” Kamdam Sikom, a senior police officer said, Outlook India reported.

The tigress was identified as Chippi, who is around 8 years old. She had been rescued as an orphan when she was around eight months old from Dibang Valley district.

The Royal Bengal tiger is the national animal of India and is found mostly in India, China, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Burma. According to the tiger census report 2019, there are 2,967 Royal Bengal tigers in India, which accounts for more than 75% of the total population of the animals in the world, the BigCatsIndia.com said.

While many tigers live in biological parks and sanctuaries, some still roam the wild, due to which human-animal conflicts occur often.

Last year, a 15-year-old girl was mauled to death by a tiger while she was plucking cotton in a field. The incident took place in the southern state of Telangana. The girl was attacked when her two brothers had gone to bring water from a nearby stream. The animal pounced at the girl and dragged her away into a nearby forest. After searching for several hours, the girl's half-eaten body was found.

India is home to 70 percent of the world's tigers
India is home to 70 percent of the world's tigers AFP / Dibyangshu SARKAR