Yashma Gill, Ushna Shah and other stars call for an end to zoos after death of white lion at Karachi Zoo

Yashma Gill, Ushna Shah and other stars call for an end to zoos after death of white lion at Karachi Zoo

Celebrities are among many Pakistanis expressing outrage over the treatment of the animal and calling for action.
25 Nov, 2021

A rare white lion kept at the Karachi Zoo passed away last night, November 24, and a picture of its corpse circulating on the internet prompted outrage as people questioned the relevance of zoos. Ayesha Omar, Ushna Shah, Shaniera Akram and Fatima Bhutto are amongst the many celebrities who posted about the incident expressing their distress.

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) tweeted that the death was caused by the lion’s lungs collapsing due to pulmonary tuberculosis. KMC spokesman Ali Hassan Sajid said the lion had been ill for 13 days. He also said it had been unsuccessfully treated by veterinarians. The lion was between 14 and 15 years of age and was brought to the Karachi Zoo from Africa in 2012. It was a rare breed.

Recently, some upsetting footage circulated on social media showcasing the neglect of zoo animals. The video featured a starving lion. The KMC had denied accusations that there was a food shortage at the zoo and called the video "outdated".

The death of the lion led to angry people venting their frustrations on social media. Many celebrities have also spoken out against the need for zoos at all.

Actor Ayesha Omar was quick to express her horror at the way the animals are being treated at the zoo.

This country is not “morally equipped” to be the safe-keepers of animals, believes actor Ushna Shah.

Activist Shaniera Akram took to Twitter to redefine what the purpose of zoos is supposed to be as opposed to the “animal prisons” they end up being instead. We very much agree!

Actor Yashma Gill narrated her experience at the zoo on Wednesday where she’d gone to feed the lion. She was denied entry but was reassured that the feeding and care of the animals was being handled. We can imagine her shock and devastation as the news of the lion’s passing broke the very same day.

Gill put out a call to action to “put an end to the zoo culture”.

Singer and activist Shehzad Roy retweeted an apology for the majestic animal saying “I am so sorry we failed you”.

Ahsan Khan, one of the celebrities who’d condemned the mistreatment of animals when the video of the starving lion first surfaced, shared Federal Minister of Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi’s tweet to condemn zoo culture and support a wildlife habitat instead.

He also shared facts that disprove the purpose of zoos being conservation.

Author Fatima Bhutto re-shared United Rescue’s post and declared us unfit to care for zoos.

We too think the call should be 'down with the zoos' because they indeed are animal prisons and no being deserves such inhumane treatment. All animals should be free, which is why animal sanctuaries and wildlife habitats are a much better way of caring for animals. If we aren't able to guarantee even the most basic rights for these beings, we have no right to appoint ourselves their caretakers and lock them up for our own entertainment.


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Sidc Nov 25, 2021 05:55pm
Why close ? why don’t you go outside and help to build the better zoo so the whole world come and see it. You guys are resourceful. Don’t choose the easy way out and portrait as nice human.
Augustine Gill Nov 25, 2021 06:00pm
Very sad to read this news. But I am not surprised. This country can’t even take care of its humans so how could animals survive here. Everything is based on corruption and people have lost the moral and ethical ability to perform their official or social duties. Those zoo officials should be held responsible for this tragedy.
Himmat Nov 25, 2021 06:02pm
People have no food to eat. Wherefrom food will come for zoo animals?
Fahad Javed Nov 25, 2021 06:16pm
Instead of asking for better facilities why are these celebs asking to shut down few places of information and entertainment in this city?
NYS Nov 25, 2021 06:19pm
Rare breed majesty animal loss mortified Can we or authority fix this loss???
Akil Akhtar Nov 25, 2021 06:37pm
Our artists need to focus on their job not try to imitate the western animal rights activists...they have zoos in every city in the west and dont listen to the activists nonsense. We should be asking for better treatment not closing everything..
Truth be told Nov 25, 2021 06:42pm
Celebrities scoring points. It is very unfortunate but where were they earlier, especially Shaniera who claims to be an activist? Couldn't they have ensured funding raised themselves. The PTI official is attempting to score political points against Sindh. Bottom line, more funding plus elimination of corruption and people posted on merit is what is the need of the hours. Now our PM is not there based on merit. How can we expect this to trickle down to each and every level?
well-wisher Nov 25, 2021 06:54pm
The lion in the picture was obviously underfed and mistreated. Shame on the govt and its leaders. Close the zoos - animal prisons because PK IS UNFIT TO CARE. Immediate actions needed before more zoo animals die.
Ch. S Nov 25, 2021 07:04pm
Zoos should be made illegal all over the world. Zoos are prisons for animals. Period.
Syed Ahmed Nov 25, 2021 07:16pm
PPP and MQM have destroyed Karachi, Sindh and Pakistan. When will our people learn?
John Nov 25, 2021 08:09pm
Where people are dying die to worst leadership lion has no chance of survival
Afia Nov 25, 2021 08:12pm
@Sidc Animals supposed to live their life in jungle, not caged .
Malz Nov 25, 2021 08:27pm
Human rights only are an issue in Pakistan.
Shaun Nov 25, 2021 09:20pm
It is the responsibility of government to maintain the zoo. These people all hundred percent correct.
JUR USA Nov 25, 2021 09:53pm
End of Noon League..
Citizen Nov 25, 2021 10:13pm
These people have no knowledge and sense. They just issue statements
Waz Nov 25, 2021 10:15pm
@Sidc agreed! Instead of shutting down.. they should invest in it and learn to take care of the animals properly
Hashmat Nov 26, 2021 01:00am
Yup that’s the solution instead of opting to go for a civic solution including people in the community to form a group that could call for accountability of local administration and politicians , the celebrities have chosen the easy way out ....
Changez Khan Nov 26, 2021 02:25am
Agree 100%. All Zoos in Pakistan must be closed immediately and free all the animals in jungles or donate to the countries who can feed them and maintain their health.
Pathanoo Nov 26, 2021 05:17am
it's so obviou, the poor beast was starved to death.
Pathanoo Nov 26, 2021 05:18am
When you have starving, poor humans responsible for the animals' meat; guess what happens?
Majid Nov 26, 2021 06:30am
What about the million of people who die of Hunger ??
Stephanie Nov 26, 2021 08:49am
You have very nice post and pictures, please have a look at our photo tours in the temples of Angkor
Anonymouseee Nov 26, 2021 09:53am
If the lion was actually 13-14 years old, that’s the average age of a lion in captivity. Nevertheless, zoos across Pakistan must be heavily funded and strictly observed for any neglect or abuse. Otherwise, close all these zoos if we are not able to take care of the animals.
Shahid Mahmood Nov 26, 2021 10:00am
Pathetic behavior. They killed him.
Ahsan Gul Nov 26, 2021 11:10am
These so called artist keep out of these issues. Zoo all over the country must be supervised and proper care be provided. Sincerely
Qureshi Nov 26, 2021 11:52am
Karachi need a all powerfull Mayor.
Jhandoo Khan Nov 26, 2021 12:45pm
@Ch. S Just because Pakistanis are incompetent to take care of the animals, does not mean rest of the world is equally bad.