The 18-month-old male lion, weighing 70kg, was imported from abroad by its Chinese owner, Cambodia Environment Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said.
“The Cambodian authorities started investigating this lion when we saw it on TikTok in late April,” Pheaktra said.
Wildlife Alliance, an NGO specializing in animal rescue, wrote on Facebook that the home conditions were not suitable for wild animals. In addition, the organization said that the lion’s fangs and claws had been broken, significantly reducing its quality of life.
The lion’s owner shared a photo sitting on the steps, while a dog was playing nearby.
There is also a video of the owner spraying water on the lion. “People do not have the right to keep rare wild animals as pets,” Mr. Pheaktra said.
Cambodian authorities seized the animal and brought it to the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Conservation Center on the outskirts of the capital Phnom Penh.
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