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

On this image taken on August 5, 2022, lions relaxation in a jungle on the Lahore Safari Zoo in Lahore, Picture: AFP

LAHORE: A Pakistan zoo is auctioning off a dozen lions to non-public collectors subsequent week to release house for a satisfaction that will not cease rising.

Lahore Safari Zoo now has so many huge cats that their lions and tigers should take it in turns to entry the paddocks, mentioned Tanvir Ahmed Janjua, the zoo’s deputy director.

“Not solely will we release more room right here, however our bills for meat to feed them may even lower,” he informed AFP.

The zoo is presently residence to 29 lions, and officers plan an public sale on August 11 to promote 12 of them, aged between two and 5 years outdated.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 ought to be moved to different established zoos, or breeding females sterilised or given contraceptives.

“Animal exchanges and donations between zoos are a broadly accepted apply,” the organisation’s Uzma Khan informed AFP.

“As soon as an establishment similar to a zoo locations a price ticket on a wildlife species it’s selling commerce — which is counterproductive to conservation,” she added.

In this picture taken on August 3, 2022, lions are seen at their enclosure at the Lahore Safari Zoo in Lahore. A Pakistan zoo is auctioning a dozen lions next week to free up space for a pride that won´t stop growing. AFP
On this image taken on August 3, 2022, lions are seen at their enclosure on the Lahore Safari Zoo in Lahore. A Pakistan zoo is auctioning a dozen lions subsequent week to release house for a satisfaction that received´t cease rising. AFP  

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 photos and video clips of their huge cats on social media, and hire 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, nonetheless.

Janjua mentioned consumers should 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 way of as potential consumers lacked the mandatory documentation or licences.

Nouman Hassan, who fell foul of authorities up to now 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 an enormous cat.

In this picture taken on August 4, 2022, Nouman Hassan, a wild animal lover, plays with his Bengal tiger at his farm house in Lahore. A Pakistan zoo is auctioning a dozen lions next week to free up space for a pride that won´t stop growing. -AFP
On this image taken on August 4, 2022, Nouman Hassan, a wild animal lover, performs along with his Bengal tiger at his farm home in Lahore. A Pakistan zoo is auctioning a dozen lions subsequent week to release house for a satisfaction that received´t cease rising. -AFP   

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 probably the greatest, 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 mentioned the animals at Lahore Safari Zoo had been being given the very best care – one thing mirrored of their fecundity.

“They’re experiencing life in captivity with us,” he mentioned.

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