Wedding photos and cat pictures, among other things, are popular on Instagram. This couple from Pakistan brought the two together. Except it didn’t end well.
A photo studio and couple in Lahore started a series after using a “sedated” lion cub as a prop for their wedding photos. After several social media users and Pakistani media highlighted the photos, an animal rights group raised concerns about wildlife drug use, calling it cruelty to animals.
Owning wild animals is often viewed as a sign of royalty and prosperity in some cultures. And during weddings, they are used in photographs that are later posted on social media.
The photos of the couple with the baby lion were first posted on Instagram by the Studio Afzl company, which deals with bridal shoots and weddings. Soon the images went viral on other social media platforms and claims that the baby lion had been calmed made people even angrier.
The studio replied that the boy was actually not sedated and that he was “enjoying and living freely”. They also stated that the owner of the animal was present and no damage was done.
Later, a shelter organization, JFK Animal Rescue and Shelter, said they were visiting the site to investigate the case, adding that the studio apologized and even regretted using a baby lion for the photography.
The organization also suggested that the use of wildlife for photography was widespread because of the “license” that allows people to own one. They even give an unconfirmed number that “35% of the elite class” owns.