A rare white lion died, reportedly after his lungs stopped working, at the Karachi Zoo on Wednesday.
Confirming the death, a Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) spokesperson said the lion had been suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis and was ill for the past 13 days.
“He was being treated by veterinarians but could not recover and died due to his illness at 11am on Wednesday,” the spokesperson said.
He added that the lion was around 14 to 15 years old and was brought to Karachi Zoo from Africa in 2012.
He said a team of veterinarians had performed an autopsy on the lion’s body and concluded that the animal also had pneumonia and his lungs had stopped working.
Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab has, meanwhile, sought a report on the lion’s death.
Expressing grief over the incident, Wahab pointed out that white lions were a rare breed, and that “strict disciplinary action will be taken against the zoo management if any negligence is found after the cause of the lion’s death comes to light.”
The news of the lion’s death comes a day after the video of a starving lion, allegedly located at the Karachi Zoo, was widely shared on social media, prompting outrage.
The video of the starving lion was originally shared by Geo TV and ARY News online and led many to question whether enough food was being supplied to the animals at the zoo.
However, in response to the outcry on social media, the KMC maintained that all animals at Karachi Zoo were healthy and being provided proper feed.
KMC spokesperson Ali Hasan Sajid had told Dawn that a special team had visited Karachi Zoo on Tuesday and got information about the food provided to the animals.
Sajid said that the zoo had enough food for a week for the animals and termed the reports circulating on social media baseless. The spokesperson had added that some miscreants were spreading propaganda about Karachi Zoo.