A video of an animal welfare worker in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, smashing a cake into the face of a pet lion has gone viral – and for all the wrong reasons. The video shared on Twitter showed a Kurdish man, with a group of his friends, laughing as the lion seemed shocked after the cruel and utterly stupid prank.
According to the Daily Mail, the lion, owned by Blend Brifkani, has since apologized for shoving the cake into his pet lion’s face. The video, which shows a group of men kneeling down next to the lion and seemingly appearing to be posing for a photo with the birthday cake. Suddenly, one of the men smashed the cake into the lion’s face and rubbed it in as the other men laugh hysterically. The shocked animal jumped up, ran away from the group and tried to shake his head and used his paws to get the cake off of him.
Blend Brifkani is a wealthy singer who claims to be an animal activist and his Instagram page features numerous photos of him posing with his pet lion, including one disturbing photo of the lion having its claws removed.
On Wednesday, Brifkani apologized for the photo and the cake antic.
“The footage shows pure emotions of overwhelmingness (sic) and excitement that I had while celebrating his birthday,” he wrote on Instagram. “When I found him in the wilderness, he was alone, small and weak without a mother. If he had gotten into the wrong hands, he wouldn’t have made it alive. I provided him a safe home, a good environment, veterinary care and everything needed to sustain the lion’s health until he grew.”
“My plan was never to keep him in captivity, but rather raise him until he was well enough and old enough to be let out into the wild again.”
” I admit, it was wrong for throwing a cake on the lions face (sic), I have let my emotions of excitement take over me and I apologize to those whom I have offended.”
The video has been viewed more than 900,000 times on Twitter and no one thought it was funny. Comedian and animal activist, Ricky Gervais called it “dirty worthless filth.”
We hope Leo the lion remains safe. Even though Brifkani is the head of the Kurdish American Cooperation Organization, which says it releases animals back into the wild, how could this animal be released into the wild without claws and so accustomed to humans?
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