Lion On Karachi’s Streets Causes Social Media Furore, Owner And Pet Taken Into Custody

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A video circulating on social media showing a lion being transported in Karachi’s Karimabad area in the back of a Hilux pickup prompted police to make an arrest, taking the lion and its owner into custody after concerns were raised about the safety of citizens in the metropolis.

The video, which went viral Wednesday night, shows curious bystanders circling the pickup to get a better look at the lion, which hangs out over the side of the pick, tongue lolling out of its mouth. A rickshaw draws up to the pickup, hesitant to go any further, before stopping right in front of the lion.

Passengers inside the car the video was shot in can be heard questioning the sense behind transporting a large wild cat in such a manner. “What will they do if something happens in the city?” asks a woman.

Sindh Interior Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal took notice of the issue after the video made the rounds on social media and directed police to take appropriate action.

Police arrested Saqlain, the lion’s owner, from FB Area on Wednesday night and also took the lion into custody, Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Central Muqadas Haider said.

Speaking to the media, Saqlain claimed he had been taking the lion to a doctor in the Defence area. Since the lion was unwell, it was seated in the back of the pickup and was being transported back to its home when the video was shot, he said. He added that he possessed the required ownership documents of the lion.

A First Information Report was registered against the lion’s owner, and its documents and permit are being verified by the concerned department, the SSP told adding that the license provided to the police had expired last year.

Credit: Dawn

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