Caretaker Ali Raza hired Mohammad Rafique to do electrical work at the congregation hall Sada-e-Imam Hussain in the Punjab province capital, but didn’t end up paying him for his labour.
When Rafique continued to press for the cash, Raza proceeded to set his pet lion on him, as reported by Gulf News. Rafique suffered injuries to his face and arm, before being thankfully rescued from the lion’s clutches after passersby heard his cries for help.
The terrifying incident took place on September 9, however Rafique chose not to report the attack until a number of days afterwards. This is because Raza initially promised Rafique compensation and treatment for his injuries. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he did not adhere to this promise.
A police representantive has made the following statement:
The caretaker kept delaying the payment. But when Rafique persisted, Raza got annoyed and unleashed his pet lion on him. The lion wounded his face and arm.
Raza has now been charged with attempted murder, as reported by Gulf News, and a case has been lodged against him under section 324 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
As reported by the National Post, owning a pet lion is regarded as a status symbol by some ambitious entrepreneurs in Pakistan; with the big cat coveted by ‘the up-and-coming businessman or celebrity wanting to signal their status’.
However, this – obviously – really isn’t the best idea for anyone involved, and you’d be far better off simply adopting a regular, roar-less kitten from your local rescue centre.
If they aren’t kept properly, big cats can get aggressive, no matter how cute and cuddly they may appear to be as cubs. Furthermore, the size and strength of these creatures means accidental injuries can easily occur.
Being kept in captivity is far from an ideal situation for a lion, who would be far happier roaming free out in the wild. Being caged can have a profoundly damaging psychological effect on big cats, causing them to lash out.
As reported by France 24, it’s easy to import exotic animals under Pakistani law, with lax regulation once they are inside the country.