After using a sedated lion cub as a prop in their wedding photos, a Pakistani couple has received a lot of backlash.
The photoshoot took place in Lahore, and animal rights activists are very concerned about it.
The wedding photography studio, Studio Afzl, posted videos and photos from the shoot online.
The posts shared to the studio’s Instagram account, which has almost 120,000 followers. With the hashtag #SherdiRani (Lioness Queen) in the captions.
The posts sparked widespread outrage and later removed after shared by multiple wildlife organizations.
Both the studio and the Pakistani couple have chastised as a result of the incident.
Save the Wild, a Pakistani non-profit organisation, has taken to Twitter to express their displeasure with the photoshoot.
The couple’s photoshoot has labeled as a case of animal cruelty by the NGO. Which works to protect Pakistan’s wildlife but from “threats of hunting and loss of habitat.”
Save the Wild posted a video of the couple’s shoot on Sunday, March 7, 2021. Faisal Amin Khan, a Twitter user, responded to Save the Wild’s tweet by saying:
‘What is wrong with people, a sedated Lion Cub as “prop” with the couple starting a new life & the studio who did it should be ashamed, it’s past time @GovtofPunjabPK reconsiders their “captive breeding” policy, but from political rallies to wedding shoots, animals as props, it’s sick.”
JFK Animal Rescue and Shelter has also shared the video. The shelter is considering legal action against Studio Afzl, according to local news reports.
Zulfishan Anushay, the founder of JFK, said about the shoot:
“The lion cub was brought [to the studio] by a friend of theirs who owned it, and it was a pure coincidence that the couple was also present, so they decided to take a few pictures with the lion cub,” the studio’s management explained.
JFK also used their Instagram account to share a photo from the photoshoot.
The caption reads as follows:
” (Update on the cub shared in recent posts).
“A sedated Lion Cub used as a prop on stage for this Pakistani couple wedding photography. On World Wild Life Day 2021, here’s a post from Pakistan. “First it peacocks, exotic birds kept as wedding props in cages with loud music, and now it’s these cubs. Separated from her mother, she stolen and sold it, and she used it as a prop. “Is this a new way to flaunt wealth?” “Shame is a teeny-tiny word.”
JFK also wants Pakistan’s government to stop issuing licences for exotic animal purchases.
The caption went on to say:
“How can legal action taken when these people have licenses to own these cubs?” he asks. You can treat these poor cubs however you want once you have a license in Pakistan.
“This isn’t something new; heartbreaking videos of “Pet” tigers and lions from Pakistan. Where people are mistreating them and robbing them of their natural habitat but can be found all over YouTube”. Animals in the wild have a right to be there!
“Unfortunately, these photoshoots have become a new trend. When you say education and awareness, what exactly do you mean? This is our country’s educated and elite class.
“Animal cruelty is also divided by social class. On every level, there is abuse. From lions to dogs to donkeys,” but says the narrator.
Wildlife groups are unlikely to save the lion cub, according to WWF Pakistan. Because it is not protected under the relevant wildlife acts. The director-general of WWF Pakistan, Hammad Naqi Khan, stated that the organization has “called for a ban on wildlife in individual ownership”. Despite the fact that wildlife breeding farms currently permitted in Pakistan. Individual animals are also not protected under their licences once they are sold.