Thursday November 30, 2023

Another caged lion found living in poor conditions

By Our Correspondent
March 15, 2023

Islamabad: A new case of keeping a lion in poor conditions at a zoo in Dera Ghazi Khan has evoked a criticism from wildlife experts who have been continuously urging the government to permanently shut down all zoos in the country.

According to the details, an African lion is spending a miserable life in a zoo at Dera Ghazi Khan where the administration lacks resources to properly arrange for its food and medical treatment. The visitors who observed the condition of the lion revealed that now it is hardly able to walk due to its deteriorating health.

A park was established in 1938 covering an area of 12 acres under the development scheme “Promotion of Wildlife and control of Hunting in D.G. Khan”. Now it has been re-named as “DG Khan Zoo”. The record showed that the Punjab Wildlife Department recovered two pairs of big cats--African lions and Bengal tigers—from a factory and then shifted them to the zoos in Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan.

The wildlife experts are of the view that animals in zoos are forced to live in artificial, stressful, and downright boring conditions. Removed from their natural habitats and social structures, they are confined to small, restrictive environments that deprive them of mental and physical stimulation. “The government should take a gigantic step towards securing existence of wildlife by winding up the zoos and let their inhabitants move to game reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. It will be a greater fun to see the lion in its exclusive domain than in someone’s cage or prison,” they opined.

Commenting on the issue, an official has said “The DG Khan Administration has been advised to immediately treat this lion and arrange for his transfer to Lahore for better care till we can find a way to repatriate him.”