A recent report by AFP has revealed a growing trend in keeping lions as pets in Karachi and rough estimates show that 300 lions are being kept as pets.

Recently, actor Imran Abbas posted a picture of himself posing with a lion and playing with it on the terrace of a house.

Naturally, his picture invited tremendous backlash after which Imran took to Instagram to clarify that the lion is not “caged or malnutritioned.” He shared that the animal is kept in a natural habitat at a farmhouse and was brought to the house only for a day. Abbas added that the lion, named Simba, loves human beings and cannot be sent back to the jungle because he can’t live without the owner.


In a follow-up post, Abbas also clarified that the lion was not on drugs and was in fact pampered. He also thanked everyone for their concern.

Further social media sleuthing revealed that the lion belonged to a social media influencer called Azlan Shah. Azlan, who calls himself an animal lover, has over time, shared lots of pictures of himself with his pet lion.

Keeping wild animals as exotic pets has witnessed an upward trend in the past few years, especially in Karachi, where people have started keeping snakes, lions, tigers and giraffes as pets.