LAHORE - A lion cub died after five months of severe dehydration, Lahore Zoo spokesperson announced on Tuesday, sparking outrage from visitors and animal rights groups.

Chris and Angela, two cubs, were adopted by Punjab University during a declartion a few months ago. Angela, having dehydration along with gastro, was facing serious challenge to maintenance its body temperature.

According to Lahore Zoo Veterinary Doctor, the lioness was kept under observation and intensive care and good feed was also good but failed to recover enough strength.

Rights activists say animals and their children suffer illness most of the times due to deliberate negligence and mismanagement of Zoo staff.

Aniza Khan, an animal welfare activist and founder of Humanity for Animals, told The Nation: “In Pakistan, animals have always been taken for granted. These zoos sometimes prove themselves to be one of the most horrible places ostensibly working for the wellbeing of animals.”

“If zoos serve merely a need for educational purposes than at least they should well manage the animals,” she added.

On the other hand, Lahore Zoo Director Hassan Ali Shukera told the media that the administration tried its best to save the cub; however, Angela lost her life leaving Chris and mother lioness alone in the cage.

He also shared the Wildlife department’s plan to build a state-of-the-art animal hospital. “Work will begin after approval of Zonal Management Committee,” he added.

In the hospital, he said, pathology and hematological tests laboratory, treatment room and ICU will be set up with senior veterinary doctor in charge.

He also announced data of animals check-up and treatment will be uploaded online for other wildlife parks in Punjab. “The portal is being checked and soon will be operational,” Sukhera continued.

He also revealed a plan to bring cross-bred lions to Lahore Zoo. Currently all the lions in Lahore Zoo belong to one family and with repeated breeding in the family the newly born lion cubs getting less immunity to fight diseases.

“There will be tagging of all the animals present in Lahore Zoo and their genetic information will also be provided,” he concluded.