The Union Ministry of Environment on Thursday transferred Delhi National Zoological Park Director Renu Singh, hours after she led an operation to rescue a 21-year-old man who had jumped inside a lion enclosure, PTI reported on Friday.

The government order did not specify the reason for the official’s removal but said she would have additional charge of the zoo “till a regular incumbent is appointed”. Singh is a 1998-batch Indian Forest Service officer of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory cadre.

“It has been decided with the approval of competent authority that Renu Singh, Director, National Zoological Park, New Delhi, will be laterally shifted in the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change as Deputy Inspector General of Forests,” read the government order.

Officials on Thursday swiftly tranquilised the animal to save Rehan Khan, who was found in an inebriated state. Video footage of the episode, shared widely on social media, showed Khan sitting in front of a lion. He lay down before the animal after a while. The police told reporters that Khan was “mentally disturbed” and did not suffer any injuries.

The zoo’s Public Relations Officer Riyaz Ahmed Khan said guards had tried to stop Khan from entering the enclosure. “He kept saying, ‘I have come to die, don’t rescue me’,” the official said. “We all rushed to the spot, gave him a ladder but he did not listen. Then we tranquilised the lion and rescued him.”

On September 5, a man had allegedly tried to commit suicide by trying to get inside the enclosure of an Indian lion at the Delhi zoo. He was also rescued before he could get injured.

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