Around 100 snakes were ruthlessly killed as part of a so-called magic show at the Karachi zoo, reports said on Tuesday.
Titled “The snake-eating man”, the stunt has been attracting hundreds of visitors since the first day of Eid and is likely to continue for a few more days, the Dawn reported .
The snakes are killed by a performer who breaks their necks with his teeth before skinning them, and tasting their blood dripping from their mutilated bodies.
This act is done in front of a large audience, mainly children, Dawn said.
“I have been holding these shows in all major cities of the country for a long time. No government official has ever stopped or fined me on my acts,” said performer Talib, who hails from Nawabshah.
The 31-year-old, also a snake-hunter, said the number of snakes in Pakistan had not declined over the years despite their frequent killing in his shows.
“I eat all kinds of snakes that include cobras and vipers but they are often not easily available,” Dawn quoted him as saying.
According to him, he has developed immunity against snake poison and suffers no effects from a snake-bite.
He added that he was also fond of frogs and lizards too and he used them in his performances if he could not get snakes.
Dawn said the Karachi zoo defended the show.
“The show is being held only for a few days and in no way damages the public image of the zoo,” said zoo director Fahim Khan.
Wildlife conservator Sindh Saeed Baloch, however, criticized the zoo administration for “showing cruelty to animals” and said that the facility was encouraging the public to destroy wildlife.
But Baloch said the wildlife ordinance of 1972 neither awards protected status to species like snakes, lizards or frogs, nor covers the subject of cruelty to animals.