Egyptian Man Plans To Fight African Lion For Tourism

lion-fighter, egyptian gladiator, tourism, egypt, endangered speciesThis man claims he will fight a 617 pound lion in order to boost Egyptian tourism.

A modern-day Egyptian gladiator has reportedly announced plans to fight an African lion. Al-Sayed al-Eassawy claims to have the Ministry of Interior’s blessings to fight the animal in front of the Giza pyramids, all in an exceedingly misguided effort to revive the country’s tourism industry. From Egypt’s Daqahlyia Governorate, the stunt man purchased the 617 pound animal (illegally) for approximately $4,200 and will fight it with a dagger and shield. This madness is supposed to happen on 25 June, 2011.


Caging the Wild

Listed as vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) list of endangered species, lion populations have dropped by approximately 42% in the last couple of decades as a result of human encroachment.

Egypt is renowned for its participation in the illegal wildlife trafficking trade. We recently reported how local Egyptian authorities pumped a lion cub discovered in a criminal’s home with 200 bullets.

The country is also infamous for its general cruelty to animals. One American teacher describes the baboons living at the Giza zoo as “depressed… in some cases they are downright catatonic,” she said. Not only are their  cages are too small, but workers often accept bribes to allow visitors to touch the wild animals.

animal cruelty, IUCN, endangered species, man fights lion

Dogs are Haram, Cats were Sacred

Street animals are also treated poorly. Considered Haram, stray dogs are often poisoned with strychnine in order to cull their proliferation. So are stray cats, which used to be considered sacred. Animals that consume this poisonous pesticide experience seizures, a “sawhorse” stance, and rigid extension of their limbs. They usually only die after suffering from respiratory paralysis.

In the aftermath of the revolution in January, Egypt has an enormous opportunity to spearhead environmental, political and social reform, but economics has proved to be an imposing challenge.

How to Alienate Foreign Tourists

According to some analysts, at least $1 billion in revenue has already been lost as a result of reduced tourism traffic. Despite loans from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, many local businesses rely on foreigners for their personal income. Consequently, many campaigns have been launched to invite tourists back to this welcoming country.

While many eco-tourism options are inviting, this most recent plan to fight an endangered animal species in public will only further alienate potential tourists. Egypt’s allure lies in its antiquities, its vast landscapes, and its warm hospitality. The gladiators have been dead a long time. Let’s leave it that way. invites concerned people to sign the following petition:

:: CNN, Youm7

Image of lion via Leszek.Leszczynski

More on Endangered Species and Wildlife Trafficking in the Middle East:

Interview: Illegal Wildlife Trafficking with Karl Amman

Stay the Extinction of Egypt’s Sacred Cats

Lion Cub Shot Dead in Egypt

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9 thoughts on “Egyptian Man Plans To Fight African Lion For Tourism”

  1. well , I wanna see the vedio but I cant get it … any ideas?

    1. I’m working on finding an update to this story. Stay tuned.

  2. RS says:

    Guys whats wrong with you? are you the ones fighting the lion? are you the owners of the lion? NO! so stop objecting so strongly. if he is convinced he can kill a lion, then let him be. and dont say ignorant things like the lion will kill him because you never know. afterall… he is the strongest man in the world. i truly believe he will win. heart of an egyptian!

  3. Arg, this whole idea makes me a bit queesy.

  4. Oman says:

    I hope the guy has not evened out the chances by
    1/Drugging it
    2/ Taking out its Teeth
    3/ Taking out its claws
    4/ All 3

    WWF should get involved

    1. @Oman – could you send a note to the WWF so they know about this situation?

  5. Norm, I’ll admit that the same thought crossed my mind!

  6. Norm says:

    There’s always hope: Maybe the lion will win.

    1. Let’s hope for the lion

Comments are closed.