Roger Anis

© Roger Anis

060A9647.jpg

Ahmed Kaseb

Kaseb spent 20 years of his life working with beasts; he is the lions’ caretaker. “This is the most dangerous job at the zoo; it is only for the brave of heart.” Said Kaseb. He spoke to us about Metwally, the most famous lion at the Giza zoo: “He is the oldest lion here and the closest to my heart. He needs special care at this age; that is why I chop the meat into little pieces to make it easier for him to eat.” “Just like elderly people, animals -and in particular those in captivity- need special care when they get old,” Kaseb added. Kaseb, who cultivated his knowledge about lions through personal experience in handling them, explained: “The natural life span of a line is about a maximum of 15 years in the wild, but Metwally is turning 24 soon, all animals could live longer in captivity due to adequate veterinary care and food supply.” When he noticed our amazement, he added: “It is true, the area of the lions’ house is tiny, but we take them in groups by turn to the backside garden to enjoy the sun and walk for a bit. I wish the Zoo was divided into different zones, maybe then we could take larger numbers of lions outside to spend more time in the sun, it is good for their health.” A zoo veterinary agreed with uncle Kaseb as he asserted: “We can’t divide the zoo into zone due to lack of finance, it would have a tremendous effect on both the animals and visitors, they will be able to observe the animals in an environment similar to their natural habitat, instead of cages.”