A shocking video has emerged showing caretaker setting fire and yelling “move, move” in an attempt to make the Lion at Islamabad Zoo step out of the cage.
A lion and a lioness died while being moved from the Islamabad zoo to a private farmhouse in Lahore, the wildlife authorities confirmed on Thursday.
The lion’s cage was set on fire because the staff wanted to transfer the lion, lioness and other animals in the zoo out of the premises on the orders of the Honourable Islamabad High Court.
Therefore, the condition of the lions deteriorated because of the burns and suffocation caused by fire in the cage. The lioness died on the way to the farm, and the male died after reaching the destination.
“WWF-Pakistan condemns the ill-treatment of the lion kept at Islamabad Zoo and has expressed its disappointment to the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) and hopes that those who are responsible will be brought to justice for this repulsive act”, The WWF said in a tweet.
Here’s what Friends of Islamabad Zoo (FIZ) said in multiple tweets (thread) about the incident:
The team at FIZ is heartbroken at the unbearable loss of animal life that has occurred due to mismanagement and unqualified employees and management involved in the relocation of animals from Marghzar Zoo.
We all strongly condemn this gross lack of oversight which has resulted in the deaths of both lions, two ostriches and several other animals. FIZ, although a member of the care committee, was not informed about any part of the relocation process despite repeated requests.
Thus our teams were unable to supervise and be there on the side of the animals. We hope the Islamabad High Court takes strict notice of this criminal negligence and cruelty to animals which should not go unpunished.
According to reports, both lion and lioness were four years old when they were transferred to Islamabad Zoo in the year 2016. The lions were brought from Lahore Safari Park as a part of an animal exchange program.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the lion’s cage fire incident at Islamabad zoo:
Journalist Mubashir Zaidi said, “They weren’t set ablaze but the fire was lit to make them suffocate so that they can be shifted to Lahore zoo. Lioness died on the way while the lion died today. Incident happened two days ago.”
“Another Animal lost due to the mismanagement by the Islamabad zoo. Trying to scare the Lion off by lighting a fire inside its cage and beating it with sticks was not only horrific but also highly irresponsible. Please stand up and do your part”, tweeted a user named Zoya.
Taha Farid tweeted, “Saw this news where workers at Islamabad Zoo set fire in the lion’s cage and the lion suffocated to death. We need to put an end to this Zoo culture. Stop taking ur kids to the Zoo. Animals are not your entertainment. They belong to the wild not cages.”