LAHORE          -           The management of Safari Park sold 14 African lions without proper auctioning. The management of the Safari Park confided that the lions had been sold out because of lack of financial resources.

According to the officials of the Safari Park, there was a difficulty in arranging food for the animals and birds as the government hept extending the lockdown because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The park’s management stated that the number of lions in Safari Park was more than what could be managed and therefore the lions were sold. They management informed that the African lions had been sold for Rs2.1 million.

Punjab Wildlife Department officials said the number of lions had increased substantially over the past few years in Lahore Safari Park and their mortality rate had dropped due to their better care. He said that the initiative aimed to involve private breeders in the sector so that wildlife could be promoted in the province.

Punjab Wildlife Director Mohammad Naeem Bhatti said 12 of the lions that were sold were suffering from partial disability. “Some of the lions had problems with paws and others with bones,” he said. The administration was forced to sell them due to their disabilities, he maintained.

He said that another reason for selling the lions was that there was no place for breeding the animals in the zoo as tigers and lions had been brought from the United Arab Emirates.

“Moreover, we have run out of resources, 90 per cent of the expenditures are made on the food of lions,” he said. However, the officials did not explain why the animals were sold without holding an open auction.