Shahin Afridi, a Pakistani cricketer who recently announced his retirement, has angered animal rights activists after tweeting a photo of a lion chained up in his home.
The tweet in question reads:
Great to spend time with loved ones. Best feeling in the world to have my daughter copy my wicket taking celebrations. And yes don't forget to take care of animals, they too deserve our love and care 🙂 pic.twitter.com/CKPhZd0BGD
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) June 9, 2018
Accompanying the tweet are two photos, one of Afridi bottle-feeding a fawn, and another of his daughter standing in front of a lion. Saj Sadiq, a Pakistani sports writer, also posted a photo featuring Afridi and the animal, with the caption: “when the lion met a cricketing lion.” ”Lion” is apparently one of Afridi’s nicknames, in addition to “La La” and “Boom Boom”, and the photo elicited plenty of responses around the world and on Twitter.
Shahid Afridi is a famous cricket player from #Pakistan. He has a #lion as a pet. There are only 19,000 lions left in the wild and declining rapidly. Down 90% in our life time. Lions are meant to roam on the Savannah not in your living room. pic.twitter.com/cGne6SKSkn
— Daniel Schneider (@BiologistDan) June 11, 2018
I know that lions shouldnt be kept as pets ..but the fact that Lala takes full care of his pets and all the animals its ok for him to keep a pet lion .. 😍😍😍😍#afridi#lalawithlion pic.twitter.com/m7urgXtZtL
— Samankhan (@Samankhan_7) June 11, 2018
But, @JibbyD isn’t so concerned. He tweets:
Idk why afridi is getting hate for owning a lion.
Y’all ride camels, elephants, horses. Keep birds/cats/dogs/goldfish as pets. Eat cows/chicken/fish.
I mean, yeh the lion is an unusual pet cuz u watched lion king,but we are all on the same spectrum. Save the sanctimony.
— Jibby (@JibbyD) June 11, 2018
And, @nivik says what we’re all thinking:
Why does Afridi have a lion in his house ? Why!
— Nivi (@nivik) June 11, 2018
Well, we have the answer! Afridi responded to the controversy and tried to set the record straight. He wrote:
“The animals displayed in the pictures were brought to my house for showing it to my kids, the owner has tamed them since they were 2 months old and they are this big, they are totally home brought-up, the person who owns them has a license as well. The fact it was chained was just to be on the safe side but where they live is in an entirely free environment.”
We’re not sure who brought his lion and fawn to Afridi’s home, but most animal welfare groups are pretty clear that keeping wild animals as pets is a very bad idea. Not only are the conditions terrible for the animal, but they could pose real threats for their owners, not just through attacks but disease as well. In fact, five U.S. states have no laws whatsoever regarding what kinds of animals can be held as pets.
What do you guys think? Should lions be left in the wild, or is everybody freaking out over nothing? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.