The shocking video displays a group of people smashing cake onto a domesticated lion's face and laughing. The lion's owner is yet to face legal repercussions.
In a horrific display of animal cruelty, a video posted to social media platform Twitter by animal activist Daniel Schneider has caused uproar online. The video shows a group of people posing with a "pet" lion for a photo. One of the individuals in the group is holding a cake. Once the photo has been taken, the man lifts the cake and smashes it onto the lion's face. This clearly causes the lion distress as he runs across the room attempting to get away from the group and remove the cake from his face. In a bizarre turn of events, the man has come forward defending his actions, Yahoo! News reports.
Schneider posted the video to Twitter with the following caption: Each and every person in this video needs to have cake thrown in their face, every hour on the hour, for the rest of their lives. Why is it so hard to be kind to animals? The man in the video has been identified as Blend Brifkani from Kurdistan. Once the video went viral, Brifkani responded to the criticism he received and defended his absurd and awful actions.
Taking to Instagram, he uploaded a video replying to the backlash in which he called his pet lion, named Leo, his "very best friend." He stated, "I have never intentionally intended to abuse Leo, moreover, I would never want to hurt him in any way. I admit it was wrong for throwing a cake on the lion's face, I have let my emotions of excitement take over me and I apologize to those whom I have offended." Apparently, he was celebrating Leo's birthday. In addition to these statements, he also claimed that he works with an animal welfare organization.
Despite his claims, this is unfortunately not the first time that Brifkani has posted such a video online. When scrolling through his social media profiles, one can spot dozens of shocking and alarming videos of him with his pet lion. In one video, he forces Leo to chase after a dog being walked by a young boy on the street. In another, the man is seen throwing a snowball at the lion's face and heard laughing.
So you thought throwing a cake in a #lions face was bad. WATCH! Blend Brifkani, aka Sheik Blend, from @Kurdistan, has his "pet" #lion attack a kid WALKING HIS PUPPY. Same guy. Same lion. He thinks it's a game. #kurdistan why don't you stop him? He's an embarrassment. RT. pic.twitter.com/Ycmm3QouVI— Daniel Schneider (@BiologistDan) June 6, 2019
In spite of the severe backlash he has received, he continues to defend himself and his actions. The Kurdistan citizen said he adopted the lion as a "small and weak" cub when he was orphaned. Brifkani affirmed, "I provided him a safe home, a good environment, veterinary care and everything needed to sustain the lion's health until he grew." Nonetheless, netizens, along with activist Schneider, have called on the Kurdistan government to take action against the animal abuser.
"Sheik" Blend. I think everyone in @Kurdistan despises the way you treat your "pet" lion. I'm getting dozens of videos of you abusing her. LIONS ARE NOT PETS! @PMBarzani and @qubadjt why do you allow it? RT. Tell the Kurdistan PM to stop him. pic.twitter.com/15SBmzVoSH— Daniel Schneider (@BiologistDan) June 6, 2019
Schneider asserted in another Twitter post, tagging the country's Prime Minister: "Sheik" Blend, I think everyone in Kurdistan despises the way you treat your "pet" lion. I'm getting dozens of videos of you abusing her. LIONS ARE NOT PETS! PM Barzani and Deputy PM Talabani, why do you allow it? RT. Tell the Kurdistan PM to stop him. Others chimed in, expressing their anger as well.
GEliseMenendez posted: She is not a housecat. She is not a toy to be petted. She is a lioness! She should be free in a pride. That's where she belongs. AbbeyScott16 noted: If he truly cared beyond Instagram likes, he'd free her to a sanctuary. There are many that would take her and she'd be next to other lions, possibly even a pride if she got along with some, and she'd have a natural an environment similar to that in the wild. Justdeckerstar wrote: Wtf, these people really enjoy animals' pain, this is so sick, I don't know how to deal with this world anymore. Comedian and animal rights activist Ricky Gervais condemned the act, and aptly stated: Dirty, worthless filth.
It is unclear whether action will be taken against Brifkani, but animal activists continue to raise awareness and hope for the best.