Going as soon as, going twice… Pakistan lions up for public sale

A Pakistan zoo is auctioning off a dozen lions to non-public collectors subsequent week to unlock area for a delight that received’t cease rising. Lahore Safari Zoo now has so many huge cats that their lions and tigers need to take it in turns to entry the paddocks, stated Tanvir Ahmed Janjua, the zoo’s deputy director.

“Not solely will we unlock extra space right here, however our bills for meat to feed them will even lower,” he informed AFP. The zoo is presently dwelling to 29 lions, and officers plan an public sale on August 11 to promote 12 of them, aged between two and 5 years outdated.

There are additionally six resident tigers and two jaguars. Conservationists are against the sale, with the environmental group WWF saying the creatures needs to be moved to different established zoos, or breeding females sterilised or given contraceptives.

“Animal exchanges and donations between zoos are a extensively accepted observe,” the organisation’s Uzma Khan informed AFP. “As soon as an establishment reminiscent of a zoo locations a price ticket on a wildlife species it’s selling commerce — which is counterproductive to conservation,” she added.

Holding lions, tigers and different unique wildlife as pets will not be unusual in Pakistan, and is seen as a standing image. Rich homeowners publish pictures and video clips of their huge cats on social media, and lease them out as props for films and photoshoots.

Zoo officers have set a reserve of 150,000 Pakistan rupees ($700) per cat, however hope every will fetch round two million rupees. Not simply anybody can participate within the public sale, nevertheless.

Janjua stated patrons must be registered with provincial authorities and present they’ve the means to offer correct care and shelter for the creatures. Zoo veterinary officer Muhammad Rizwan Khan informed AFP an preliminary try final yr to public sale lions fell by means of as potential patrons lacked the mandatory documentation or licences.

Nouman Hassan, who fell foul of authorities previously when he was filmed strolling his pet tiger on a leash in Lahore, plans to participate. “I’ll attempt to purchase two to 3 lions for certain,” he informed AFP, including the public sale was a great way to diversify the gene pool for personal collectors who already owned a giant cat. With little laws to safeguard animal welfare, zoos throughout Pakistan are infamous for his or her poor services, however the Lahore Safari Zoo is taken into account among the finest, set over 200 acres.

In April 2020 a court docket ordered the one zoo within the nation’s capital to close after poor services and mistreatment of the animals there have been revealed. The ability had drawn worldwide condemnation for its remedy of an Asian elephant named Kaavan, who was later airlifted to retirement in Cambodia in a jumbo venture spearheaded by US popstar and actress Cher.

Veterinarian Khan stated the animals at Lahore Safari Zoo had been being given the absolute best care — one thing mirrored of their fecundity. “They’re experiencing an excellent life in captivity with us,” he stated.—AFP

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