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‘Starving’ white lion dies at Karachi Zoo

KARACHI: A starving lion, whose video went viral over the deplorable conditions of animals at the Karachi Zoo, has died.

“Deeply grieved to hear the African lion at #KarachiZoo has died. A statement from zoo said he died of tuberculosis and an autopsy is underway. I am devastated. TB is contagious…and they had lioness in same enclosure,” said a tweet by journalist Quatrina Hosain.

She urged Karachi administrator Murtaza Wahab to initiate any enquiry in the matter. “Shed a tear for this majestic animal reduced to misery and painful death. I am so sorry we failed you. Let my tears wash your scarred body”

Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) spokesperson confirmed the death, saying the lion had been suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis and was ill for the past 13 days.

He said the lion was being treated by veterinarians but could not recover and died due to his illness after his lungs stopped working. The lion was around 14 to 15 years old and was brought to Karachi Zoo from Africa in 2012.

Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab expressed his grief and sought a report on the lion’s death. He said that strict disciplinary action will be taken against the zoo management if any negligence is found in causing the lion’s death.

The video of the lion had sparked furore and outrage on Twitter with social media users calling to shut down the zoo ‘immediately’ over the miserable conditions of animals.

According to a private media outlet, a contractor responsible for providing food to animals at Karachi Zoo has barred all supplies over lack of payment from the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC).

It was reported that the contractor is refusing to provide food items to the administration of Karachi Zoo citing a lack of payment from the municipal authorities.

It added that KMC’s finance department has not cleared bills of the contractor since February this year and the contractor had pasted a notice at the zoo that he would not be providing the food anymore.

After the videos of the lion went viral, Pakistani Twitterati had called upon the authorities concerned to take strict action against the zoo administration or “shut the Karachi zoo immediately.”

Karachi Zoo Director Khalid Hashmi refuted the reports circulating on social media, saying that the zoo’s storage room has enough stocks of animal food.


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