Marjan was half-blind lion who lived at Kabul zoo and became a symbol of Afghanistan’s national survival after living through coups, invasions, civil war and the hardline Taliban era before dying in 2002.
The male lion born in 1976 in Koln Zoo and gifted to Kabul Zoo in 1978. Later, Chucha, a lioness, joined him. Since then, both witnessed crimes committed after the coup of Khalqis and Parchamis, the puppets of Russia, in their new home, not knowing one day it will also come after them. The ignoramus Jihad factions, supported by Pakistan and Iran regimes, took over riding on the bruised shoulders of our people, and now it was time for Marjan and Chucha, and other inhabitants of Kabul Zoo.
Marjan’s story is not a happy one!
In 1992, however, with the eruption of civil war, his life was thrown into turmoil. The Zoo was regularity hit by gun fire and rockets. The zoo keeper was not able to give medicine to injured animals because the zoo’s medical facilities were destroyed.
In 1995, a man (some say a soldier) climbed into Marjan’s enclosure (either to prove his bravery or for a bet). Marjan killed the man.
The following day, the brother of the dead man threw at Marjan and the blast left the lion lame, blind, deaf, and with half his teeth blown out. Despite his injuries, he survived. The grenade-thrower was attacked and killed for his actions a week later.
During the civil war the Taliban fighters killed and ate many animals.
The story of Marjan the One-Eyed Lion, made headlines around the world recently when the great lion died at the age of 26 at Kabul’s decrepit zoo on January 25, 2002. His funeral service on January 28th was attended by hundreds.
Marjan is buried in Kabul Zoo, where a bronze memorial statue of him has been placed at the entrance. The lion has come to symbolize Afghanistan’s survival throughout its decades of hardships. An inscription on the memorial reads “Here lies Marjan, who was about 23. He was the most famous lion in the world.”
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