CAIRO: An Uzbekistan embassy official and three Egyptians are facing charges in Egypt after allegedly feeding donkey meat to pet lions, judicial officials said.
The man, an embassy media adviser, was charged along with an Egyptian businessman and two guards who worked in two villas near the coastal city of Alexandria where eight lions were kept without permits, the officials said.
The embassy could not be immediately reached for comment. It was not clear whether the official had diplomatic immunity.
The men were also accused of endangering public safety by keeping the lions and polluting the environment with donkey heads and remnants.
Killing draught animals without cause is forbidden under Egypt’s criminal code, but the sturdy equines are slaughtered and fed to lions in Cairo’s zoo in a practice condemned by the country’s animal welfare activists.
A zoo official who asked not to be named said donkeys provided the lions with glycogen, a carbohydrate.
"There is a certain amount of glycogen the lions need," the official said.