South African white lions to land in Karachi

Published: July 13, 2012
South African White Lion. PHOTO: WIKIPEDIA

South African White Lion. PHOTO: WIKIPEDIA

South African White Lion. PHOTO: WIKIPEDIA Zoo authorities are quite excited to greet their newest residents. The white lions are being imported from South Africa and should arrive next week. PHOTO: ONLINE

These days the zoo is buzzing with energy as the authorities prepare to greet two very expensive guests – imported white lions from South Africa at a cost of Rs10 million.

According to zoo officials, the lions will be kept in a glass enclosure, the first of its kind in the country, to make it easier for visitors to spot the jungle royals. “The enclosure will be made from acrylic glass, similar to the material used for making windows for commercial aeroplanes. It should hopefully be completed by Sunday,” said the zoo’s director, Dr Karim Hussain, while talking to The Express Tribune on Thursday. “The lions will be here next week. This is the first time we’ll have white lions in the country. No one has ever brought them here.”

The zoo authorities are expecting a large crowd to visit once the white lions make their first public appearance. An excited Hussain explained that the idea behind the glass enclosure was to give the children more access to the animals. He said that this way the children would be able to measure their palms against the lion’s paws. He added that having an acrylic glass cage for animals will be the first for Pakistan.


The white lion is a rare animal found only in the Timbavati region of South Africa. According to the Global White Lion Protection Trust they are growing extinct.

Track record

In recent weeks, the zoo has been in news for all the wrong reasons. Many animals have died, raising doubts about the capabilities of the handlers. But the former zoo director, Bashir Sadozai, insists that there is nothing wrong with the management. “White lions do not need special caretakers,” he said. “The staff is well trained to handle the different kinds of lions. We have done all the assessments in this case.”

Import issues

The lions are being imported through a commercial trader but interestingly the authorities do not know who is exporting the animals. Dr Hussain could not confirm if the animals were reared in private confinement or official safari. “I can assure you that Sindh Public Procurement rules have been followed in letter and spirit,” he said. “According to the importer, the animals are from a captive breeding facility. The import documents of the animals will tell us everything.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2012.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (29)

  • humane pakistani
    Jul 13, 2012 - 1:33AM

    please dont bring these poor animals to pakistan. the way we treat animals in our socity is beyond pathetic.


  • Peace
    Jul 13, 2012 - 1:44AM

    Beautiful creature. Best of luck buddy.


  • Let the good sense pervail
    Jul 13, 2012 - 2:13AM

    Instead of spending 10 million on new animals , zoo keepers should have sense of first feeding the starved and sick animals already in the zoo and just look at the poor conditions they are in.


  • Pradei
    Jul 13, 2012 - 3:56AM

    Strange is the way of Nature, In Africa where All human race is Black except from immigrants, there only god created white Lion breed :)
    Anyway good for Pak people to have him here.


  • Peace lover
    Jul 13, 2012 - 5:31AM

    Unlucky lion…


  • @plarkin
    Jul 13, 2012 - 9:41AM

    Poor lions. they don’t know what they’re in for in this land of mullahs.


  • Hammad
    Jul 13, 2012 - 9:57AM

    we must stop these lions being brought into the dump that Karachi zoo is! WWF are you out there??!


  • Jul 13, 2012 - 11:10AM

    The people should raise their voice against these lions being brought here. With our track record these poor animals will suffer a lot.

    Step 1. Lets email WWF

    WWF info,

    Step 2. Lets talk to the authorities in the Ministry handling the zoo’s etc.


  • believer
    Jul 13, 2012 - 11:10AM

    we already have a white lion in pakistan- Sir Zaid Hamid


  • Mueed
    Jul 13, 2012 - 11:24AM

    My sympathies with these poor lions, I hope the zoo authorities wouldn’t eat the funds released in the name of food and other stuff of these lions.


  • MFaisal
    Jul 13, 2012 - 11:30AM

    What a pleasant news!Recommend

  • Naveed Javed
    Jul 13, 2012 - 11:55AM

    The White Beauty!


  • Arshad Rahman
    Jul 13, 2012 - 12:00PM

    I am agree with the comment regarding the revamping of the ZOO, what we are going to give those rare species, the toxic smell all around the zoo, the foul rubbish spread around the zoo, contaminated water, large trees but not trimed timley causing a scarey view, sick, starved animals, look those pathways around the zoo giving us a scene of a 3rd world country, am sorry but all is true, the officials are expecting numbers of viewers there, but am sorry to say those were not viewers those are couples came their to have date (the best dating point)…………….. SIR, please give environment to the animals as well as to humans to come and enjoy and also learn what we have their in our Zoos…..


  • Butt
    Jul 13, 2012 - 12:26PM

    Is Pakistan short of lion meat?


  • DevilHunterX
    Jul 13, 2012 - 12:29PM

    They MUST have done something wrong. Why else would they deport them here?


  • Mr S
    Jul 13, 2012 - 1:04PM

    What I have heard lately is that the condition of Karachi zoo has been improved ..the entire zoo has been renovated and less dirty.


  • Abbas
    Jul 13, 2012 - 1:19PM

    poor lions ! I feel bad for you :(


  • Anum
    Jul 13, 2012 - 1:45PM

    he’s gonna die………………


  • Raza Khan
    Jul 13, 2012 - 1:56PM

    Death is waiting for you!


  • Sydel Crossley
    Jul 13, 2012 - 3:30PM

    Poor Lion! Its better to spend the same money on the other animals who are already in the zoo, they are all starving, drinking green water with all flies around, the poor tiger instead of having a tub of water was gifted with a big slab of ice, the skinny lion was gifted with 2 dry bones the lioness was half dying with hunger and i can carry on its better to clean the environment in the zoo and make it more attractive rather than bring animals from abroad who are having much better lives than the ones here…


  • saeed
    Jul 13, 2012 - 4:21PM

    all the people making complain and calling for WWF why don’t raise the money and adopt these animals and help the zoo. Or otherwise just shut up.
    On the other hand Good job Karachi zoological dept.


  • Karachiite
    Jul 13, 2012 - 4:25PM

    All those commenting on zoo’s condition.GO and check it yourself.Situation is way better than before.

    @let the good

    LOL,stop commenting on something which you don’t know at all.There is nothing like starved or sick animals at zoo and again i would recommend you go and check yourself.Learn to appreciate when something good is happening.


  • Jul 13, 2012 - 4:40PM

    Why don’t the zoo authorities import white skunks with black stripes? If only these white lions know the humiliation they are in for. Salams


  • Ali tanoli
    Jul 13, 2012 - 5:12PM

    karachi is it self no less than zoo where every single day peoples killed each others Recommend

  • hassan khan
    Jul 13, 2012 - 5:57PM

    i strongly protest agaisnt the life imprisonment of lions and other animals …they are kept in worst condition…why we need a zoo ….i can not understand,..? zoo is meant for entertainment of humans.there are no humans in our society.


  • Wolfie loves kulfi
    Jul 13, 2012 - 7:58PM

    Poor lions they will be killed by zoo keepers like they killed the sri Lanka elephant gifted to the zoo and had the nerve drank its alcohol meant to calm the animal incase it got angry these lions should NOT BE BROUGHT TO PAKISTAN as They WONT BE CARED FOR :(


  • akif syed
    Jul 13, 2012 - 8:05PM

    While spending Rs. 10 million of these animals may be subject to public policy debate – as has already started as a result of this story, one comment has particularly highlighted the need for “revamping the zoo” and providing facilities for the existing animals. The fact of the matter is that when I was Additional Commissioner Karachi (2000-2001) I happened to visit the zoo in connection with an official task; the Director (one Mr. Qazi) asked me to have the file of the feeding charges of the lion cleared from the City Nazim’s office as the lion was being provided meat on a loan by the contractor: 8 kg of good beef a day then cost about Rs. 1200 and now costs over Rs. 3000 per day or at least Rs 1,095,000 (3000 x 365) per year per animal not counting any other care that they may need. The zoo was also suffering from a disconnection of the electricity as the staff had put “kundas” to their quarters. As it is the zoo has been badly commercialized by commercial plaza running half the length of its wall.

    I am not sure what is the entry fee to the zoo now but it used be Rs. 5 back then. With this paltry sum no proper maintenance is possible. In contrast most international zoos charge several dollars; there is need for social activists and the media to get involved.


  • Mohammad Ali Gaad
    Jul 13, 2012 - 11:35PM

    Masallah God is great,This lion`s place in not here.He should get for what he is created rather than being in this cell.


  • sameer
    Jul 16, 2012 - 10:48AM

    welldone KMC…


More in Pakistan