An adult lion caused panic among locals in the Pakistani city of Karachi after it escaped from a vehicle on Tuesday.
Several videos of the big cat went viral on social media, where it was seen casually roaming in the streets. The animal was later captured.
In the videos, the lion is seen walking in a residential area in Karachi. At one point, it appears to attack a bystander as others shout and raise an alarm to warn others.
The incident took place on Tuesday, August 29, during peak traffic hours, when the pet lion was being transported by its owner to a veterinarian in a loader vehicle, reported a local media outlet.
South Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sheraz Nazir told the newspaper that the animal “escaped” the vehicle near Aisha Bawany College and went on to hide under a parked vehicle in the area.
The police official added that the area was cordoned off and the wildlife department and Karachi Metropolitan authorities were alerted.
As per another local media outlet, the lion tried to attack a person and later walked inside a building.
Some locals with the help of police officials tried to capture the lion using a pickup vehicle but it managed to escape again. The animals then hid in the basement of a commercial building, the report added.
Wildlife officials reached the scene after four hours and caught hold of the lion before putting it in a cage. It was then transported to the wildlife department.
According to Reuters, the lion caused a massive traffic jam in the area, with many media vehicles reaching the scene to cover the incident and locals gathering to see the ferocious predator.
Sindh Chief Wildlife Conservator Javed Mahar confirmed that the lion was a pet animal. Its owner was identified as Shamsul Haq, who was taken into custody along with four houseworkers. An FIR was registered against them which stated that Haq and his four employees were “illegally transporting” one lion and a turtle when the big cat escaped, according to a local media outlet.
Javed Mahar said that the lion was sent to a zoo and the vehicle which was being used to transport it was seized, according to the report.
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