After a viral photo of a “skinny” lion from Zoo Negara made its rounds on social media, many netizens questioned why that was the case, since the organisation had received donations from the public.
The photo was shared on Twitter by user @f4izalhassan, which was taken by @zlkha_z with the caption “Pray for our skinny lion. This big cat was once the king of this land.”
Lions are majestic beasts so when the photo went viral of it looking clearly malnourished, many questions were directed towards Zoo Negara. During the Movement Control Order (MCO), Zoo Negara was forced to use their emergency funds and have asked the public for donations to help maintain the animals’ well-being.
As a non-governmental organisation (NGO), under the Malaysian Zoological Society (MZS), it relies on ticket sales and donations to operate. In May, crowds of visitors went to the national zoo to show support during its financial struggles.
Several people requested Zoo Negara’s transparency about the donations. A Twitter user found that no annual reports were available on its official website. Another user shared how this has been an ongoing issue since 2003.
Following the buzz on social media, a petition was made requesting for Zoo Negara to be investigated by SPRM for various reasons, including transparency in its annual reports. There has been over 10,000 signatures as of now.
After the photo made rounds on social media, Zoo Negara’s deputy president Rosly @ Rahmat Ahmat Lana explained that the lion appears skinny because of a diet switch during MCO.
According to an interview by Nadia Zaman, a journalist from Bernama, Rosly said that they were lacking meat and had switched the lion’s diet to chicken, but the animal has no interest in it.
In a tweet by Nadia, Rosly explained that Manja Kani – the 15-year old lion may look skinny but is still healthy. According to SAYS, it also appears that Asiatic lions appear smaller than African lions. Those in captivity with an average mass of 100kg consume 6% of their total body mass.
Knowing the lion is healthy is great news. Please finish your food though, buddy!
For more news, click here.