You must have seen couples go overboard with their wedding photos. From luxurious locations to a fortune devoted to wedding photography, couples leave no stone unturned in obtaining their perfect images.
But this bride and groom took the trend a little too far. Posing with a sedated lion cub for their wedding shoot, this couple in Pakistan are now facing a strong backlash from internet users.
Photos and videos of the couple from Lahore using a calmed lion cub as a prop for their event have gone viral on social media. The photos and images were shared by Studio Afzl, a bridal photography and events studio with an online reach of over 1.17,000 followers on Instagram.
The posts shared with the hashtag #SherdiRani (Lioness Queen) have since been deleted from the official handle of Studio Afzl after being heavily criticized by animal rights activists around the world.
However, this case of animal cruelty did not go unnoticed as many people took screenshots of the photos and videos before they were deleted. A Pakistani NGO called Save The Wild reached out to the Punjab Wildlife and Parks Department and asked them how they allowed the lion to be used as a prop.
“PunjabWildlife allows your permission to rent a lion cub for ceremonies? Look at this poor cub that is sedated and used as a prop. This studio is in Lahore where this cub is being kept. Please save it,” wrote the NGO on its Twitter handle.
@PunjabWildlife allows your permission to rent a lion cub for ceremonies? Check out this poor cub who is sedated and used as a prop. This studio is located in Lahore where this cub is kept / fMcqZnoRMd
– Save the Wild (@wildpakistan) March 7, 2021
The video was originally shared by a Twitter user named Saltafa, who posted the video on Twitter with the caption “studioafzlofficial” posted some very disturbing stories on Instagram where a sedated lion cub was used as a prop during a wedding shoot. It’s a living being, that’s more than crappy. “
@ / studioafzlofficial has uploaded some very disturbing stories on Instagram in which a sedated lion cub is used as a prop during a wedding shoot.
It’s a living being, that’s more than crappy. pic.twitter.com/VjIgDlDOnz
– Saltafa (@saltafa) March 7, 2021
The gruesome act soon caught the attention of animal rights activists and NGOs around the world who were redesigning the videos. JFK Animal Rescue and Shelter shared a picture from the photoshoot on their Instagram handle to take legal action against the studio.
Internet users called out the act of cruelty, in which many said the couple and the studio should be ashamed and many asked that they be punished.
What’s wrong with People, a sedated Lion Cub as a “prop” for the couple starting a new life and the studio that did that should be ashamed of themselves. It’s time @GovtofPunjabPK reconsider their “captive breeding” policies, from political rallies to wedding shoots. Animals as props, it’s sick
– Faisal Amin Khan (@FaisalAminKhan) March 8, 2021
That’s awful. Sedating a lion cub so people can use it in photo props is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. Use the funds to end wildlife exploitation, and don’t pay to support it.
– Indira Seepersaud (@ IndiraSeepersa1) March 8, 2021
This is atrocity !! Apart from humans, no other living being on this planet is evil. These types of people are living evidence and should be punished for such a heinous act. Please help save the baby! @wildpakistan @PunjabWildlife
– Ishika (@ Ishika_Singh313) March 13, 2021
Although the practice of clicking images of sedated wildlife is widespread around the world, an animal used for a wedding photograph was definitely a first.