top of page

Previous updates on Kabul Zoo

update 29 September 2021

We have received reports and seen newspaper articles about zoo visitors throwing objects at Kabul Zoo’s lions. This is problematic and has potential to harm the zoo animals. However, our contacts, who have long worked with Kabul Zoo to improve conditions for the resident animals, have told us that the Zoo is aware of such behaviour on the part of some visitors; the lions spend many hours a day sleeping, and visitors want to get their attention, or see them move around. The problem is not new or unique to the current situation.

Kabul has recently seen an influx of soldiers from rural areas who are unlikely to have ever seen most of the species at the Zoo. Gun-pointing and item throwing are manifestations of their excitement at seeing these animals, rather than malicious attempts to harm them. We have been reassured that there is a high fence separating the public from the lion compound, preventing large objects from passing through. The Zoo has cleared all stones from the area, and will do their best to be vigilant in the area. Some people could have been throwing other bits of litter such as dead cigarette butts, paper wrappers, or bits of bark from the trees.

Footage of people behaving inappropriately around zoo animals is always of great concern, and members of our network work directly with zoos across Asia and beyond to address such issues.

Our sources on the ground continue to assure us that for the animals at Kabul Zoo, it is business as usual and reports of malicious abuse are baseless.

update 9 September 2021

Our sources tell us that things remain calm, and not much has changed at the zoo. The animals continue to be cared for as usual.