Thursday Nov 25, 2021
Karachi Zoo director Khalid Hashmi has been dismissed from his position and replaced by Mansoor Qazi after the death of a rare white lion at the zoo, Geo News reported Thursday.
The lion had died on Wednesday after his lungs reportedly stopped working due to pulmonary tuberculosis.
The directives for Hashmi's removal from the post were issued by Metropolitan Commissioner Afzal Zaidi.
Meanwhile, the commissioner also issued a notification for Qazi's appointment as Karachi Zoo's new director.
According to the notification, Qazi — who has served as Karachi Zoo director earlier — has been appointed again, but temporarily.
Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab said he was saddened to learn about the death of the white lion.
He said that the lion was "ailing for 10 days".
Karachi Metropolitan Corporation Spokesman Ali Hassan Sajid had said that the lion, aged 14 to 15 years, had been ill for the last 13 days and was suffering from pulmonary TB. The animal was being treated by veterinarians but he could not recover and died.
A team of veterinarians performed an autopsy on the lion and collected details about the illness and death.
According to veterinarians, the lion also had pneumonia and the lion's lungs had stopped working.
The lion, which was of a breed that is going extinct in the world, was imported from Africa for Rs10 million in 2012 to be brought to Karachi Zoo.
It is pertinent to mention here that the supply of animal food had been suspended by the contractor responsible for keeping the zoo animals fed.
However, the supply was restored soon after.
The contractor had claimed that the Karachi municipal authorities haven't paid him for months.
"The administration hasn't paid since February 2021," contractor, Amjad Mehboob said.
The matter was brought to the fore after a video showing a lion in Karachi Zoo in "awful shape" went viral on social media.
However, Hashmi had refuted the reports circulating on social media, saying that the "zoo's storage room has enough stocks of animal food."