Recent images on social media have shed light on the alarming condition of a lion housed in the Mashhad Zoo.
An image depicts the emaciated and weak state of the animal, prompting concerns about its welfare.
According to the Khorasan Online channel, the lion displayed no signs of movement, leaving observers unable to determine if it was still alive.
The incident is not an isolated case of animal welfare negligence in Iranian zoos. In May 2021, Safadasht Zoo in Karaj faced scrutiny after one of the three African zebras it acquired from the Netherlands died shortly after arrival. The zoo attributed the zebra's death to mismanagement during customs procedures, leading to stress and internal infection.
In 2018, 10 zebras perished during a transfer operation, and in 2011, 14 lions suffering from glanders were killed.
Experts argue that the root cause of such issues lies in the prioritization of economic interests over conservation efforts. The lack of specialized training and education for animal importers and zoo owners further exacerbates the problem.