Pakistan’s lions up for Auction

Pakistan’s lions up for Auction

To make room for an expanding pride, a Pakistani zoo will auction off 12 lions to private collectors the following week.

The lions and tigers at Lahore Safari Zoo now have so many of them that they must alternate access to the paddocks, according to Tanvir Ahmed Janjua, the zoo’s deputy director.

Not only will we have more room here, but we’ll also spend less on meat to feed them, he told AFP.

There are currently 29 lions living in the zoo, and on August 11 an auction will be held to sell 12 of them. These lions will range in age from two to five.

Additionally, there are two jaguars and six resident tigers.

Environmentalists oppose the sale, with the WWF arguing that the animals should be transferred to other well-established zoos or that breeding females should be sterilised or given contraceptives.

The organization’s Uzma Khan told AFP that “animal exchanges and gifts between zoos are a generally known activity.”

She continued, “Once a zoo or other institution puts a price on a species of wildlife, it is promoting trade, which is harmful to conservation.

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In Pakistan, keeping lions, tigers, and other exotic animals as pets is customary and is regarded as a prestige symbol.

Rich owners share large cat photos and videos on social media and rent the animals out as backdrops for photos and movies.

Officials of the zoo have designated a 150,000 Pakistan reserve.

But not just everyone may participate in the auction.

According to Janjua, purchasers will need to register with the provincial authorities and demonstrate that they have the resources to properly care for and house the animals.

Zoo veterinarian Muhammad Rizwan Khan told AFP that a previous attempt to auction off lions failed because prospective bidders lacked the required paperwork or licenses.

The participant will be Nouman Hassan, who previously ran afoul of the law after being seen on camera in Lahore walking his pet tiger on a leash.

“I will attempt to acquire two to three lions for sure,” he said to AFP, adding that the auction was an excellent method for private collectors who already had a big cat to broaden the gene pool.

The Lahore Safari Zoo is regarded as one of the best and is spread out over 200 acres. Zoos all around Pakistan are infamous for their substandard facilities because there is minimal law to protect animal welfare.

After it was discovered that the lone zoo in the nation’s capital had subpar facilities and mistreated its animals, a court ruled in April 2020 that it must close.

An Asian elephant named Kaavan, who was eventually transported to retirement in Cambodia as part of a gigantic project spearheaded by US pop star and actress Cher, had received care at the hospital that had garnered widespread censure.

The fecundity of the animals at the Lahore Safari Zoo, according to veterinarian Khan, indicates that they are receiving the best care.

They are living well in captivity with us, he declared.