Sindh Wildlife Department orders inquiry into Shahid Afridi's lion episode

Sindh Wildlife Department orders inquiry into Shahid Afridi's lion episode

Photos of Shahid Afridi and his daughter playing with a lion at their house went viral last week
14 Jun, 2018

Sindh Wildlife Department (SWD) conservator Taj Mohammad Shaikh says he has ordered an inquiry into the presence of a lion in former Pakistani cricket captain Shahid Afridi's home, photos of which went viral on social media last week.

If found guilty, appropriate action will be taken against former cricketer Shahid Afridi and others, said Shaikh.

Afridi and his six-year-old daughter were recently seen posing with an African lion inside their house. Both Afridi and his daughter were seen within the reach of the carnivorous beast on the tiled floor with no barriers in between them.

The lion was brought to the house of the player by one of his fans, Hassan Hussain, for recreation. The owner of the lion, Hassan, while responding to Dawn’s queries said he had brought up the lion, now two years old, when its mother died after giving birth. He further said the lion was fully tamed and safe to be with.

Hassan added that he was a fan of Afridi and took the lion to his house to show it to his children after obtaining travel permit from the SWD.

“The lion remained chained during the visit,” he said.

To a question, he said the lion was not put in a cage and the animal remained seated next to him in his double-cabin pickup during the journey from his house to Afridi’s.

Afridi’s manager Arsalan Haider Shah, when contacted, said the lion was tamed and there was no danger involved.

“The lion remained chained for additional safety,” he added.

Shahid Afridi takes a photo of his fan's lion
Shahid Afridi takes a photo of his fan's lion

An SWD official, Adnan Khan, said Mr Hussain possessed a licence for a private mini zoo and kept the animals at his house located in PECHS and also had an animal breeding farm in Mirpur Sakro.

He added that transporting animals was risky and special protocols were needed to be followed, particularly in case of carnivores. The official further said that even tamed animals were risky to handle.

The sources were of the view that exposing children to such danger was questionable.They said there were protective grills even in zoos in addition to the cages where lions were kept. “There is usually a distance of five to six feet between the visitors and the iron bars of the lions’ cage to ensure safety of the visitors,” he explained.

When asked what action the SWD could take, conservator Shaikh said Afridi and Hassan could be warned or fined if the action would be lenient.

“Suspension or revocation of Hassan’s licence is another possibility. In an extreme case, we can even confiscate the animal,” he concluded.

Originally published in Dawn, June 14th, 2018


Pakistani Jun 14, 2018 11:30am
Humans are far more dangerous and wild than these poor animals.
Amna Jun 14, 2018 11:43am
Dear Pakistanis Please spread love and positive waves instead of hate. Shahid khan Afridi is a humble person, social worker and nation's pride. We support him.
Shahid Jun 14, 2018 12:11pm
Khuda Kay wastey leave Shahid Afridi alone. Why we blackmail n trap people especially those people like Shahid Afridi who are doing social n welfare work.
Siddhartha Jun 14, 2018 12:48pm
His daughter is cute and joyful. But don't go close to this lion when it will be an adult.
Imran Jun 14, 2018 01:56pm
so what's the big deal..??
Adam Jun 14, 2018 02:04pm
what is the obsession with constantly harassing celebrities? I mean what has Shahid Khan done wrong? Should the person (s) who gave him the lion be questioned as they had authority to safeguard it?
BK Jun 14, 2018 02:47pm
Thought he was crazy only on the cricketing field. Guess I am wrong.
Syed Zee Jun 14, 2018 02:57pm
Lions are wild animals and meant for open fields and jungles - calling them tamed is another word of slavery - these are a d never could be house pets - release them where they belong - in the wild. It’s in-humane and also un-Islamic to keep these magestic wild animals for personal benefit of showing off. Do we have PETA (Protection and Ethical treatment of Animals) in Pakistan
putho madre Jun 14, 2018 04:33pm
Charge the owner with illegal possession of a protected animal.
SATT Jun 14, 2018 04:42pm
Is it allowed to roam with your wild animal as a pet.
Malik Imran Jun 14, 2018 05:10pm
Safety comes first due to which its totally wrong
faisal Jun 14, 2018 05:37pm
Is he showing how brave he is ? or is he showing how stupid he is especially risking his younger daughter
Amjad Durrani Engineer USA Jun 14, 2018 05:57pm
A mind boggling read. This exactly shows twisted & very frustrated mindset of our fast & furious, who having ample resources in form expensive villas and surplus money , having no worries to anticipate where their next meal is coming from, do indulge in these utterly useless show offs. Had he been here, he would be behind bars for endangering the life of a minor but since all those who have some kind of clout in our society where most of the people are ignorant of their civil right provided to them by the constitution, will definitely get away from this abhorring act of self promotion. One is sure of the fact that after some rattlings from the quarters concerned, the matter will die down and things moving on as usual. If the SWD, is concerned about its act, it must confiscate all these carnivorous animals in possession of Hassan in the first place before he repeats this absolutely irresponsible and dangerous act, which he is fond of, leading to a fatal accident in the near future.
SkyHawk Jun 14, 2018 07:26pm
SWD is right. This animal is dangerous. I have seen tamed animals who attacked their owners and caused much trouble. In some cases even some good people died because of such beast's attacks. Shahid Afridi should not take risk and give this beast back to the breeder/zoo owner. Afridi's little daughters is much more woth than this dangerous lion .
Husain Jun 14, 2018 07:41pm
I do agree with the fact that wild life should be protected but where was these wildlife people when Maryam Safdar brought tiger to 2013 election campaign?
Anwar Sadiqque Jun 14, 2018 08:08pm
This man is foolish. Having a wild predator in his house is asking for trouble. The tragic part is that when people take wild animals for pets an entire illegal trade develops and the animals disappears in the wild. African Lions which are prolific breeders are now starting to become extinct in the wild.
Alba Jun 14, 2018 08:24pm
Food for thought. The lion's. Lion's can be unpredictable. They are not house pets.
Majid Jun 14, 2018 08:34pm
I wish this department should have taken action on illegal selling of green turtle at every aquarium shop, they even don't know what is actual wildlife or not. lion do not fall under Pakistan wildlife. If the had been efficient they had saved fish cat of sindh... Gharial in Indus river....Now they are taking notice to get media attention....
a Jun 14, 2018 11:24pm
Even a hand bred 2 yr lion carries natural predatory instincts. Whats wrong with this man ?? Exposing his little child to grave danger.
jaredlee67 Jun 14, 2018 11:25pm
Yes, for sure hold Afridi accountable. He should learn to use common sense, which he rarely used in Cricket.
Nasser Jun 15, 2018 01:45am
Is that all the work that the Sindh Wildlife does?