A lion walks idly on the pavement inside his cage at the Karachi Zoo. His mane, which sets him apart from other cats, is receding. This dethroned King of the Jungle evokes sympathy rather than fear from visitors.
It has been almost two years since Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah announced an ambitious plan to make the Karachi Zoo like that of Singapore. However, little progress has been made on his promises.
Construction work is under way at the Karachi Zoo, but little has been done to improve the animals' living conditions. They continue to suffer in silence. Karachi Zoo Director Mohammad Mansoor Qazi said that the situation will improve and more animals will be brought to the zoo.
On the other hand, the Landhi-Korangi Zoo is full of empty cages. Visitors are often left disappointed by its state. The zoo was built in the 1990s with the aim to provide a recreation spot for the people.
Related: #FreeKaavan: Islamabad zoo’s ‘isolated’ elephant may be released if found suffering from mental health problems
“There should be a lion at the zoo, but there is nothing but empty cages here,” said a visitor. People say that the Karachi mayor should pay attention to the sorry state of the zoo.
Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani said that the government is working on improving the Karachi Zoo. “There were some hurdles but those have been removed now.”
On the Landhi-Korangi Zoo, he said he hasn’t been there yet.