There was panic amongst the residents of Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Hadeed area on August 11 after five lions were found to be roaming the streets of the Pakistani city.
According to Pakistani news reports, six lions were kept at a farmhouse in a private housing society, Gulshan-e-Muazzam, when five of them escaped and initially attacked the dogs guarding the area.
The big cats, soon after escaping, entered a nearby building, forcing people staying there to rush for help.
Residents of the area, approached the local police station and wildlife authorities to launch rescue efforts.
No loss of human life was reported in the incident.
Provincial Wildlife Conservator Javed Ahmed Mehar reached the area to supervise efforts to catch the escaped lions. “We have sent our experts to the area soon after receiving reports of the lions’ escape,” he was quoted as saying by local media outlets.
While terming presence of the lions at the farmhouse as illegal he said that there was no law allowing people to keep wild animals at their residence.
“Sindh Assembly has passed a law to regulate the presence of wild animals at private places, however, it is yet to be enacted,” he was quoted as saying.
According to Pakistani media reports, the big cats were later caught on the same day by the wildlife experts after an hours-long operation.
The provincial wildlife conservator said that they have summoned the lions’ owner on August 12 to take action against him.
No further updates on whether the owner was penalised have emerged.
Moreover, while Pakistani news reports are calling the animals “lions”, a video that was extensively shared online looks to feature a striped big cat, possibly a tiger.
Reacting to the unusual incident, social media users shared their thoughts online. Many sent out “alerts” on Tuesday, warning people living in the locality to stay indoors.
Sharing a video of the animal, Twitter user @HudaNauman wrote: “In Gulshan-e-Hadid, Karachi, five lions entered a nearby madrassa.”
Tagging the mayor of Karachi, Waseem Akhtar, tweep @AnamjemWAK posted: “Rare news from Karachi, Pakistan. Five lions escaped from a farmhouse in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area, thickly populated in the heart of [the] city! How [was] the farmhouse allowed to keep lions? Mayor @wasimakhtar1955 wake up!”
Twitter user @taroobdar posted: “So apparently five lions got away from some random house and are now roaming on the streets and people and police are trying to catch them when it should be done by the wildlife animal control. Karachi always coming up with something new and versatile every week.”