By Basit Umer @LinedBasit
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Videographer / director: Irfan Choudhary
Producer: Haziq Qadri, Ruby Coote
Editor: Ed Rius
Hamzah and Hassan Hussain, from Karachi in Pakistan have been raising the beast ever since he was just two weeks old.
The brothers, who own a popular restaurant, fondly call him Simba, after Disney’s hit animated movie The Lion King.
They claim that the 26-month-old lion was born on their farm and, after his mum stopped feeding the cub, they took it upon themselves to raise the big cat.
Hassan told Barcroft TV: “The lion was born on our farm and his mother couldn’t feed him the milk so I brought him into our home.”
“Ever since we have been raising him like our brother.”
“I named him Simba and he is a very tame lion. And now he’s 26 months old.”
“He’s like my baby, so that’s why I’m not afraid with him. You can see that I can put my hands in his mouth.”
The brothers share an intimate bond with Simba and he is often seen accompanying them on their walks and even driving around Karachi in their CAR.
Hussain said: “I am not scared of living with him as he is like my younger brother or baby.”
“I put my hands in his mouth, cuddle and caress him and he loves that.”
Hamzah added: “If he’s with someone he knows he’s fine. If a new person is around then he’ll want to play and they’ll need to stand still to be ok.
“If they shout or run then he might bite.”
Masai lions are found in east African countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania and have been extinct in Pakistan since the mid 1800s.
The government, however issues special permits to import wild animals and a number of wealthy people across the country use these permits to import wild animals and set up private farms.
But owners have a big job on their hands feeding their pet lions.
Hassan explained: “I treat him like my child, and I feed him the best of meats”
“Simba eats five kilos of beef daily and sometimes I feed him goat meat too.”
“However, he dislikes chicken and never eats it,” added Hassan.
Hassan is now looking for a female partner for his lion.
He told Barcroft TV: “If I cannot find a partner for Simba locally, I will import it from South Africa.”
And Hassan confirms that Simba is a big hit with the locals.
He said: “Yeah they get much excited, all the family members and neighbours taking pictures with him.”