By William Walker00:42, 2 Sep 2021
In the photo a group of fighters from the regime can be seen stood looking down towards a lone bear who is penned in inside an enclosure as a gun is pointed in its direction
The image has prompted concerns about the animal’s treatment
A chilling image has emerged appearing to show armed Taliban militants aiming a gun at a bear at Kabul Zoo.
In the photo a group of fighters from the regime can be seen stood looking down towards a lone bear who is penned in inside an enclosure.
As the animal looks up towards the group one of the militants can be seen appearing to point his weapon in its direction.
While an international animal coalition has said the animals at the zoo were being cared for the image has raised concerns over mistreatment of the animals that happened in the 1990s.
According to reports from the time there were a number of incidents at the zoo involving Afghan fighters beating animals, with one chucking a grenade at a bear.
The Taliban seized control of the country after the US pulled out(AFP via Getty Images)
The new image, published by The Sun, is sad to have sparked concerns over how the animals left at the zoo will now be treated.
The publication reports that a source said: “It’s game over for the animals in the zoo.
“They can’t even run. I cant even begin to imagine the horror.”
It is claimed that zoo staff continue to service the animals but it is not known if the animals will continue to be maintained by the Taliban.
Asia for Animals said it was monitoring the situation but that the animals were so far being fed and cared for as normal.
They said in a statement: “We have had more confirmation from our contacts on the ground that whilst the situation on the ground is unstable the zoo is still in operation.
“There have been Taliban soldiers at the zoo, liaising with the staff and visiting the animals.
“As the zoo comes under Kabul Municipality the zoo will ultimately be the responsibility of the Taliban.
“Currently the animals are still being fed and cared for as normal.
“There was a fire near by the zoo last week but the zoo was unaffected.”
The group later confirmed on social media that the animal in the image was not shot nor had it been shot at.
One media report published two decades ago claimed that in the 1990s one man threw a grenade at a lion in the zoo after it killed his friend, with the blast leaving the animal blind in one eye.
The zoo was also said to have been a favourite among bored soldiers on leave from the frontline and saw bears being beaten, and other animals struck with sticks, snowballs and stones.