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The coronavirus lockdown made many of us realise how it feels to be caged. While the zoo culture is problematic, to begin with, it’s worse when humans do not even take responsibility for the animals they have kept as prisoners.

A rare white lion died in Karachi Zoo on Wednesday after his lungs stopped working due to pneumonia, a spokesperson for the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) said.

He said that the lion was unwell for the last 13 days. He suffered from Pulmonary TB which was being treated by veterinarians, however, “he could not recover and died due to his illness.”

A picture of the lion’s body went viral. He looked malnourished and judging by the scars, abused. Brought to the Karachi Zoo from Africa in 2012, the estimated age of the lion was between 14 to 15 years.



Following the news, several social media users, as well as celebrities, raised their voices against the cruelty.


“The lacerations on his body aren’t from pneumonia. Even if he died of natural causes the conditions of animals there are horrifying,” tweeted Ushna Shah.



“Mortified to find out how animals are being kept in the Karachi Zoo, apparently because of lack of funds. And this African lion died today. They say it’s tuberculosis. He was being kept in the same enclosure as the Lioness with such a contagious disease,” Ayesha Omar posted.



Yashma Gill shared that after watching the video of the starving lion, she decided to visit the Karachi Zoo to feed him herself. However, she was told that she wouldn’t be allowed to take food inside.

“I was assured that the lion, along with the rest of the animals, are being properly fed now,” following which, she was relieved. “So I requested my manager to hopefully arrange a visit for me tomorrow, five hours later, this picture is what I receive from a friend of mine. Whoever was involved in this hideous crime, are you happy now?! Will the government release funds now?” she asked.


In another story, she advised putting an end to the zoo culture. “Especially when countries like ours can’t afford to feed animals,” she wrote.



Read More: Hamza Ali Abbasi and Mehwish Hayat feel all zoos should be closed in Pakistan


This is not the first time celebrities have made this demand. The only zoo in Islamabad which attracted international condemnation for its treatment of the lonely elephant Kaavan had been closed after its final occupants were relocated abroad.

Taking the beautiful, wild, and free creatures and caging them for human pleasure is nothing but cruel. However, what does it take to close down a zoo? Probably the death of most of its captive animals.


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