A drop scene of cricketer Shahid Afridi’s viral photos sitting in front of a lion [DailyTimes] 14 Jun, 2018

KARACHI: A team of Sindh Wildlife Department (SWD) disclosed on Thursday that the wild lion seen in the photos in which cricketer Shahid Afridi was sitting in front of the animal, which went viral last week, is not owned by Afridi but belongs to a fan of his who took the lion to show to his favourite cricketer.SWD official, Adnan Hamid Khan, who headed the inquiry team told that last week cricketer Shahid Afridi shared a few photos on his verified Twitter account, in which he and his six-year-old daughter were seen posing with a lion inside his house, with no bearer between them. When these photos went viral and people started criticising Afridi, many citizens and media persons started asking questions from the SWD about facts and laws that related to keeping the lion.“After which, SDW conservator Taj Mohammad Shaikh ordered an inquiry into the matter, and now we’ve found out that the lion is owned by his fan Hassan Hussain, an owner of a beauty parlour, who has an official license issued by SWD to keep the lion in a private mini zoo at his house located in PECHS area. He also has an animal breeding farm in Thatta district’s Mirpur Sakro,” Khan told .On June 9, Afridi posted from his verified Twitter handle two photos of himself feeding a deer and his daughter posing in front of a chained lion, adding the words that it was the “best feeling in the world” to have his daughter copy his “wicket-taking celebrations”.Great to spend time with loved ones. Best feeling in the world to have my daughter copy my wicket taking celebrations. And yes don’t forget to take care of animals, they too deserve our love and care 🙂 pic.twitter.com/CKPhZd0BGD— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) June 9, 2018 On the micro-blogging platform, the Twitter brigade criticised him, saying the following:Wild animal’s are not pet. even raising it by hand from a day one ,does not make it a pet.— Javeria Siddique (@javerias) June 11, 2018Great to spend time with loved ones. Best feeling in the world to have my daughter copy my wicket taking celebrations. And yes don’t forget to take care of animals, they too deserve our love and care 🙂 pic.twitter.com/CKPhZd0BGD— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) June 9, 2018Later, more photos of him sitting in front of the lion were shared on social media sites.Khan further said that Hussain has an official license which he acquired from SWD, by paying a fee of Rs. 10,000, and the lion that is shown in the pictures is an African lion of two years of age.If someone buys an African lion, he has to pay Rs. 1 million to get a license. He also has to spend a huge amount of money feeding it. As an adult, African lions eat at least 8 kgs of meat every day, so a person owning it has the right to show off his animal, but since the license clearly states that he cannot move the lion out of his private mini-zoo which is inside his house, we are now inquiring about the protocol that was afollowed to carry the lion to Afridi’s house. We have also issued a warning to the owner so that he may not do this the next time, said Khan, adding that since the lion’s owner was a fan of Afridi, he must have carried the animal to him, on his own, to pay his regards to his favourite cricketer and see him in person. He also said that one can clearly see the animal was chained when Afridi was seen sitting with the animal.“Since Afridi is a famous personality, everyone seems to be criticising him, otherwise there is nothing to point fingers about,” said Khan.According to Sindh Wildlife Department law, anyone who buys a lion may get an official license at Rs.10,000, and until now, in Karachi, there have been eight to ten licenses issued to private mini-zoos. This means that the city has at least 8 to 10 African lions inside houses.

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