Lahore zoo set to auction off 12 lions in bid to control overpopulation

Edited By: Sayan Ghosh
New Delhi Updated: Aug 06, 2022, 04:41 PM(IST)

Lions in Lahore zoo Photograph:( AFP )

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In the recent past, it has become a trend for wealthy individuals in Pakistan to post pictures of their exotic pets on social media. As a result, the zoo expects a number of buyers for the lions and although the base price is 150,000 Pakistan rupees ($700), they expect much higher amounts.

The Lahore Safari Zoo is looking to auction off twelve lions in an attempt to control their population and private collectors will be allowed to bid on them. Currently, the zoo has 29 lions, but they are looking to decrease the count by auctioning off the ones between two and five years old. According to deputy director Tanvir Ahmed Janjua, the lions and tigers were not getting proper access to paddocks due to overpopulation. “Not only will we free up more space here, but our expenses for meat to feed them will also decrease,” he told AFP when asked about the upcoming auction.

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In the recent past, it has become a trend for wealthy individuals in Pakistan to post pictures of their exotic pets on social media. As a result, the zoo expects a number of buyers for the lions and although the base price is 150,000 Pakistan rupees ($700), they expect much higher amounts.

The zoo has said that the potential buyers need to register with proper authorities before they are allowed to bid, and they will have to show proof that they can take care of the animals.

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However, not everyone is happy with the auction as conservationists along with the environmental group WWF is asking for the lions to be transferred to an established institution. “Animal exchanges and donations between zoos are a widely accepted practice,” the organisation told AFP.

“Once an institution such as a zoo places a price tag on a wildlife species it is promoting trade — which is counterproductive to conservation,” the official statement for the organisation added.

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