Updated: June 29, 2021 1:04:41 pm
While most people use balloons, streamers and flowers as decorations for a party, a Pakistani influencer has irked many online by using a lioness as a ‘prop’. Videos from Susan Khan’s birthday party are going viral, and several people are seeking action against her.
Khan recently hosted a lavish birthday party in Lahore and a lioness was present at the venue. Shackled with an iron chain, the wildcat was seen lying on a couch at the event surrounded by partygoers amid loud music. Short videos from the event were shared on Khan’s Instagram stories, and disappeared after 24 hours.
The incident came to light when Protect Save Animals, a animal rescue organistion shared the videos online. “While I am not against birthdays and how people choose to celebrate them, I am severely against people using animals as props,” a rescuer wrote. “How would you feel if someone sedated you, tied you up and thrust you in an environment with loud music and screaming people?”
“Animals are NOT decor that you can use to show your wealth and status at your events.” the post read.
The first post doesn’t show the influencer. However, a second one shared by the animal advocacy group shows Khan petting the wild animal. “Evidence that it was @susankhanofficial who exploited this lion to such abuse,” the post read.
Criticising Khan, the animal rights group added: “Its honestly horrendous seeing as to how these influencers seem to not care about the animals. Not a single remorse.”
The founder of the organisition has now started an online petition to stop using wildlife as props, and seeks the support of 1,500 signatories.
According to a report by Vice, Chaudhry Usama Wains, who runs a registered business of exotic and wild animals in Pakistan, said it is illegal to rent animals for private events but some do it anyway. “You will not find any legitimate renting agency. They’re all underground and very discreet,” Wains said.
As the news outlet spoke to two attendees of the party, they were unsure whether the lion was illegally rented or brought in by a guest. “In the videos, the lion is transported by a man in black clothes with white shoes, who is seen next to the lion throughout the party. Attendees said the lion didn’t leave his side,” the report added.
Time and again, videos and photos have surfaced on social media with people from affluent backgrounds in Pakistan using exotic animals as props. Earlier this year, a couple went viral for using a ‘sedated’ lion cub as a prop in their wedding photoshoot.
According to BBC, with certain conditions, the local government has allowed ‘breeding farms’ for wildlife animals. “Breeding and farming of wildlife which have no habitat in Pakistan and are not native to Pakistan is allowed,” the report said.