In the zoo of Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi, animals are suffering from hunger and the poor government of Imran Khan is not able to feed them. A video of a lion’s plight has brought tears to people’s eyes on social media. This has angered Pakistani social media users. They are asking their government to close all the zoos if there is no money to feed the animals in the cages.
In the video clip, a lion was seen very weak in a zoo in Karachi. It seems as if the lion has not been given food for the last few days. Sharing the video on Twitter, Quatrina Hussain, Country Director of CDRS Benji Project for Animal Welfare, Pakistan, wrote, “If we treat animals like this, we have no right to run zoos.” Karachi Zoo is unable to pay the food suppliers. The animals are already in pathetic condition.
Hussain further wrote, ‘My heart is breaking. Let’s close all the zoos.’ Wildlife expert Iram Azim Farooq said in his post, ‘Karachi Zoo should be closed immediately. The administration has no shame. Do we treat caged animals like this? Karachi Zoo fails to pay food suppliers. Seeing this breaks my heart. Please raise your voice. According to Pakistani channel ARY News, the contractor responsible for supplying the food has pasted a notice at the gate of Karachi Zoo that he will not be able to supply the food, as the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) has not approved.
For the last 11 months, he has no money to pay the bills, feed the animals. The zoo administration also confirmed the situation and said that they are giving food grains to the animals, but now only ration is left in the godown for a few days. According to the report, many animals including the ‘Pride’ lion of the zoo have become lean due to lack of proper food. Due to lack of proper facilities including health, animals are dying the most in Karachi Zoo. In one such case, the second of the two lions that were illegally brought to Karachi in 2017 died mysteriously.
There are also four elephants in the zoo, who are very ill for the last few months due to lack of proper food. After a petition was filed by wildlife experts, the Sindh High Court ordered the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) to immediately contact German veterinary experts to examine the health of the elephants. Dr. Amir Khalil of Four Paws, an international animal welfare organisation, said, “When we came in 2016, the situation was really bad. We feel sick to see that things are even worse now. We then submitted a mandatory report to the responsible authorities, the mayor of Islamabad and the wildlife department, especially with respect to lions and elephants. Our recommendations were not implemented.