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April 23, 2016

Lion kept at private farmhouse mauls man painting its cage

Karachi

April 23, 2016

Karachi

A lion being kept at a private facility in Memon Goth area mauled a man who was painting the cage of the big cat, depriving him of the full function of his right arm, health and wildlife officials told The News. 

The victim, Nizamuddin, had been painting the cage of a pair of lions being kept at the Rani Empire Farm House in Memon Goth, Malir, when one of the big cats attacked him and seriously damaged his right arm.

The injured painter was brought to the emergency ward of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) by workers of the farmhouse for treatment, but instead of telling doctors the truth about what had happened he claimed he had been injured in a stray dog attack in the Malir area.

“When I inspected the wound, I immediately realised that the farmhouse workers were not telling the truth,” said Dr Seemin Jamali, the joint executive director of JPMC. “When I grilled the injured man and his attendants that such a wound could not have been inflicted even by a ferocious dog, they admitted that it was a lion that had caused the wound.”

According to Dr Jamali, initially Nizamuddin insisted on being discharged from the hospital. “But then his wound began to give him trouble so his family brought him back. Now he is admitted in the surgical ward of JPMC,” she said. “Surgeons have examined the damaged arm and will try to save it in surgery. In the meantime we have begun anti-rabies treatment.”

Talking to The News, Nizamuddin said he had been painting the cage in which the pair of lions was being kept when one of the animals attacked him and took his right arm in its jaws. “I used my other hand to hit the lion’s face and eventually it released its vice-like grip, but by then my right arm had been badly injured,” he said. ““The farm owner’s employees brought me here. They assured me that I will be provided proper medical care here. Now I’m waiting for the surgery of my wounded arm.”

Nizamuddin said he was asked by the farm owner not to tell the doctors the truth about how he was injured. “He asked me to lie and claim that I was hurt by a stray dog,” he said.

However, the manager of Rani Empire Farm House, Muhammad Zohaib, when contacted by The News claimed that the painter had tried to free the lion, provoking it to attack him.

When The News approached an official of the Sindh wildlife department, he responded that people could keep animals in personal zoos but only after obtaining No Objection Certificates from the department concerned.

“According to the national guidelines, wild animals kept at any place should not be dangerous to common people. But in this case, it has already been proved that the guidelines were violated,” said Adnan Hamid Khan, an official of the Sindh wildlife department.

However, the farmhouse manager Zohaib claimed that the lions and other animals at the zoo were being kept under proper national guidelines and international protocols for keeping wild animals.

Meanwhile, wildlife official Khan claimed that his department will investigate the matter and if any negligence or irregularity was found on part of the farmhouse owner, then the big cats will be taken into custody and shift it to a safe and secured location, such as the Karachi zoo.