Couple Uses A Sedated Lion Cub As A "Prop" For Their Wedding Photoshoot

Couple Uses A Sedated Lion Cub As A "Prop" For Their Wedding Photoshoot

Netizens also lashed out against a Lahore-based photography studio named Studio Afzl after the pictures were posted on its Instagram story.

Image Source: Instagram/JFK Animal Rescue and Shelter

A couple who used a sedated lion cub as a mere prop for their wedding has received intense backlash from animal rights organizations after videos of the ceremony when viral. Netizens lashed out against a Lahore-based photography studio named Studio Afzl that covers weddings and does bridal photoshoots after the heartbreaking pictures were posted on its Instagram story. According to Geo TV, the couple can be seen handing hands while a helpless, sedated cub sits in the foreground as the photographer captures a snap that was supposed to signify love and union. The results which were supposed to be a happy reminder of the pair's big day was marred by the depressing plight of the lion cub.


The studio shared the photo along with the hashtag #SherdiRani (which translates to lion's queen) laying emphasis on the presence of the cub which was used as a prop. The post was first highlighted by JFK Animal Rescue and Shelter. Sedated Lion cub Used as a prop on stage for wedding photography of this couple. Here’s a post from Pakistan on World Wild Life day 2021. First peacocks, exotic birds caged in loud music kept as props on weddings, and now these cubs. Separated from mother, stolen and sold, used as a prop. Is this a new way of showing off wealth? read the post on Instagram.


JFK's founder, Zulfishan Anushay told the Independent, "The studio's management told us that the lion cub was brought [to the studio] by a friend of theirs that owned it, and according to them it was a plain coincidence that the couple was also present, so they decided to take a few pictures with the lion cub." In the Instagram post, they explained the sorry state of animals, and that people in Pakistan have the right to own them. P.s. how can one take legal actions when these people have licenses to own these cubs? Once you get a license in Pakistan you can treat these poor cubs as you want. This is not something new, heart-wrenching videos of “Pet” tigers and lions are available all over youtube from Pakistan where people are mistreating them, depriving them of their natural habitat, it read.


The problem starts with the wildlife trade and these government licenses to own them. Wildlife animals belong in the wild! These photoshoots have become a new trend, unfortunately. You talk about education and awareness? This is the educated, elite class of our country. The animal cruelty is divided by class system too. There is abuse on every level. From lions to dogs to donkeys, it continued.

The situation was brought to the notice of Save the Wild, an animal welfare organization in Pakistan that is committed to saving "Pakistan’s wildlife from the threats of hunting, loss of habitat and pesticides." They shared the post on Twitter and tagged the Punjab Wildlife and Parks Department, urging them to intervene and free the poor creature. Punjab Wildlife and Parks Department does your permit allow for a lion cub to be rented out for ceremonies? Look at this poor cub sedated and being used as a prop, read the post. 


Soon netizens called on authorities to take action against the studio for mistreating the poor cub. Twitter user Faisal Amin Khan wrote: What's wrong with people, a sedated Lion Cub as "prop" the couple starting a new life & the studio who did that should be ashamed, it's about time @GovtofPunjabPK must rethink their "captive breeding" policy, from political rallies to wedding shoots, animals as Props, it's sick. While another urged the Punjab CM's Digital Media Focalperson Azhar Mashwani to intervene and get authorities to rescue the cub. But WWF Pakistan revealed that it was unlikely that the cub could be rescued as "the lion is an exotic species and is not protected under the relevant wildlife acts," the charity’s director Hammad Naqi Khan said. "There are numerous, unaccounted lions in private ownership and unfortunately, it is legal to buy and sell exotic species bred within the country and lion is one of them. Therefore it is not difficult to get a cub for a shoot," he added.

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