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It is pitiful and shocking to learn that the Lahore Safari Zoo has opted to auction 30 of its precious lions, tigers and cheetahs to the highest bidders on grounds of inadequate space and high cost of maintenance. It is unimaginable that a country as big as Pakistan cannot provide shelter in its zoos or a place in its forests to animals which would be a matter of pride for any other zoo or forest.  The act of selling them to private individuals for petty cash, amounts to condemning these innocent animals to lifetime of solitary confinement, and possibly torture and brutality at various unchecked private locations.

I appeal for an immediate withdrawal of this feudal, insensitive and unwise decision. If the Lahore safari zoo cannot provide suitable space to a few dozen precious animals, it must think of better alternatives. Giving them to other zoos in Pakistan is one such option. A controlled release in suitable forests is yet another possibility. Perhaps the Lahore Zoo managers never read the famous quote by Jeremy Bentham, a well-known English philosopher — “The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk?, but, Can they suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being?”

Naeem Sadiq