The Egyptian Government saved the Lion!
Published by Bikyamasr.com
Sunday, June 5 2011
The Egyptian government has intervened and arrested a man who had attempted to promote tourism through a public battle between himself and a lion. According to the country’s ministry of tourism and Egyptian animal welfare activists who had been following the ordeal, El-Sayad al-Essawy has been arrested and is currently under investigation.
Early indications from the ministry are that the man is mentally ill. It is unclear what exactly will happen to him and if he will be charged with a crime. According to activists, the man had not actually bought a lion on the black market.
Minister of Tourism Munir Fakhry Abdel-Nour said in public statements that “under no circumstance will the Ministry of Tourism tolerate any degree of inhumane acts against animals.”
His comments come as a number of foreign nationals, and potential tourists, had spoken out against the “battle” saying they would not come to Egypt if the event went as planned.
“This is disgusting, to fight a lion to death to raise public attention is so wrong,” one animal rights activist in Egypt said in an email to Bikya Masr detailing the situation.
According to local reports, an Egyptian citizen purchased a lion for around 25,000 Egyptian pounds – in violation of stated international wildlife regulations – and is “”to fight the lion to death with swords.” It has been learned that the lion was in fact not purchased.
Egyptian Arabic newspaper al-Youm al-Saba’a said the idea was to “raise public attention and media to invite tourists to Egypt.”
“It is simply shocking to me that anyone would think that the vast majority of tourists that are thinking about coming to Egypt, or are in Egypt right now, would want to see this fight actually take place,” said Helen Reese, a British national who has lived in Egypt for over two years and is an ardent animal activist.
“I just wish that there was a stronger movement to stop this cruelty,” she added.
Note in the video that the lion only has one canine tooth and it is in very bad shape. The others are all broken off and likely to be infected causing a great deal of pain.
Catfight: Man Plans to Battle Lion in an Effort to Boost Egypt’s Tourist Industry
By: Jenny Wilson
Forget bullfighting. In the animal entertainment sector, lion fighting is the hot new commodity. At least according to 25-year-old Egyptian al-Sayed al-Essawy, who plans to fight a full-grown African lion in front of the Pyramids at Giza. He told Egyptian publication Al Masry Al Youm that “the world will flock to see the Egyptian man who defeated a lion with his bare hands.” And given the state of the economy, now is as good a time as any. “After the revolution, with the economy the way it is, I’ve been given the perfect opportunity to realize my dream,” he says.
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To understand how this odd hobby became al-Essawy’s calling, rewind 12 years. “I discovered my incredible strength at the age of 13, and, almost immediately afterwards, promised myself that, one of these days, I would fight a lion,” he tells al Masry, adding that he views himself as an asset to Egypt. “If America, or any other country, had a man with the ability to combat the strongest creature on the planet, they would properly promote him, and use his strength to their advantage.”
To no great surprise, several animal rights groups have taken issue with al-Essawy’s plans, fueled by his revelations that he fights dogs to prepare for the battle. He defends his actions by saying that he won’t be armed and will only kill the lion if it’s, “a matter of life and death.” When the publication raised the obvious question of when fighting a lion isn’t a matter of life and death, he replied, “It’s up to the lion. If he chooses to withdraw, or surrender, and lets me tie him up, then I will not kill him and the fight will end.”
Egyptian Minister of Tourism Mounir Fakry AbdelNour released a statement saying that, “under no circumstance will the Ministry of Tourism tolerate any degree of inhumane acts against animals” and assuring citizens that he has been “personally involved in making sure such a barbaric act does not take place in Egypt.”