A Kurdish man is being ridiculed online for his “cruel” act of smashing a birthday cake into the face of a pet lion he rescued as a cub.
In a video which triggered outrage on social media, a group of Kurdish-speaking men are seen kneeling down next to the lion before one of them smashes a cake into the poor animal’s face. He then rubs the cake on the lion’s face as the others around him laugh.
The big cat shakes its head and paws its face to get the cake off as it tries to get away from the men.
The perpetrator has been identified as Blend Brifkani, head of a local NGO called the Kurdish American Cooperation Organisation.
Following outrage over his act, the wealthy singer-turned-activist apologized for letting his “emotions of excitement” take over him.
He described the lion as his “very best friend” and said the footage “shows pure emotions of overwhelmingness (sic) and excitement that I had while celebrating his birthday.”
“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,” Brifkani said in an Instagram post.
“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.”
He admitted 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.”
Brifkani insisted he was not an “animal abuser” and was “constantly working on projects that show how important animals are to me, especially Leo and how much I care for his well-being. I assure you that Leo is safe and will soon return to the wild.”
British comedian Ricky Gervais was among the thousands of people who expressed their disgust over the video.
“Dirty, worthless filth,” Grevais wrote on Twitter.
Dirty, worthless filth.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) June 4, 2019
“Each and every person in this video needs to have cake thrown in their face, every hour on the hour, for the rest of their lives. Why is it so hard to #BeKindToAnimals?” a Twitter user who first shared the video on the micro-blogging site, wrote.
Human garbage— Daniel Schneider (@BiologistDan) June 4, 2019