A financial crisis is affecting the Lahore Safari Zoo. By planning to auction off 12 lions, officials hoped to collect money to cover the rising costs of sustaining animals and other expenses, as well as to make way for the large cats.
According to Tanvir Ahmed Janjua, the zoo’s deputy director, there are so many lions and tigers at Lahore Safari Zoo that the animals have to wait their turn to enter the paddocks.
Lahore Safari Zoo is regarded as one of the best in Pakistan and is spread across 200 acres. There are now 29 lions, 6 tigers, and two jaguars living in the Lahore facility.
Lahore Safari Zoo cancelled its big cat auction after criticism from PETA and others. Good.
Now, it should end its captive-breeding program and focus on protecting animals in their natural habitat.
— Shalin Gala (@ShalinGala) August 10, 2022
A lion requires expensive, demanding, and ongoing maintenance. Eight to nine kilogrammes of meat are consumed daily by lions. Zoo officials had set a reserve price for each animal of 150,000 Pakistani rupees, or approximately the same as the cost of a cow, but they thought that each animal would bring in about two million rupees at the auction.
Pakistan has now abandoned its contentious intention to sell 12 lions to private individuals at an auction. In order to give the animals more room, there are new plans to expand the zoo.
In Pakistan, keeping lions, tigers, and other exotic animals as pets is popular and is regarded as a power symbol. Rich owners share l photos and videos on social media and rent the animals out for photos and movies.
Animal rights activists, and the World Wildlife Fund, strongly opposed the decision to auction lions on August 12.
“The main reason behind the auction was the lack of space,” deputy director Tanvir Ahmed Janjua said, adding officials had decided to speed up work building two new enclosures.
“Now that this issue is to be resolved soon, there is no need for the auction to take place.”
Janjua denied that the cancellation of the auction was the result of protests from animal rights activists.
“Should the lions breed more, and we see we are running out of space once again, then we can easily hold another auction,” he said.