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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Residents panic as lion roams on busy streets after escaping from owner’s vehicle

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Residents of the southern Pakistani city of Karachi were have been thrown into panic after an adult lion escaped from a private vehicle amidst heavy traffic.

According to the police, the lion was being transported on Tuesday, August 29, 2023. by its owner when it escaped on the main road of the bustling port city during peak traffic hours.

Children screamed and adults fled in fear, said Mukhtiar Soomro, a wildlife officer who was part of the team that captured the animal.

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“It took our team at least two hours to confine the lion to a parking lot and then capture it in a cage,” Mr Soomro told dpa from Karachi. It was a first-of-its-kind incident in Karachi.

“Planning and executing an operation to capture such a huge and dangerous animal was a frightening experience,” the official added.


No one was mauled.

A video shared on social media showed a man shouting to others to run as the animal slowly walked along the pavement.

The lion was handed over to the city’s zoo and a criminal charge was being filed against the owner for keeping a wild animal in a residential area.

This was according to another wildlife official Mumtaz Ali.

“The owner can face a fine of up to 300,000 Pakistani rupees (around $1,000) and imprisonment up to three years,” he added.

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Pakistan’s wildlife laws allowed private citizens to establish mini zoos, but keeping a lion or tiger as a pet in a residential area is a crime.

But these laws are often ignored.

In February, a leopard ran loose from a neighbourhood near Islamabad and it took wildlife rangers several hours to capture it.


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