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BKK’s Pet Lion Finally Rescued

Phnom Penh: A young lion, being kept as a pet by a Chinese national in Phnom Penh’s BKK 1, is finally in the hands of authorities. He’s now been taken to the safety of the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre. The lion caused a sensation on social media at the weekend, when images surfaced of him in a back garden on Street 306, but EAC News can confirm that this is not where the lion was first seen, and not the first time that authorities or Wildlife Alliance, had been told about him.

It was at a villa on the corner of Streets 71 and 398 where the young lion was first seen and reported over three months ago. BKK 1 resident, Brandon Roberts, told EAC News that he saw the lion on two occasions when walking his dog. He didn’t have a picture, as he wasn’t carrying his phone at the time, but did post about the lion on Facebook. The incident was also reported to Wildlife Alliance, who confirmed that they “already knew about the lion and were working with their partners to confiscate the animal”.

It’s believed the Chinese national moved from Street 398 to Street 306 recently in a vain attempt to avoid the authorities.

Wildlife Alliance says the lion is around 18-months old and is in poor condition, weighing just 70 kilograms and with his large canine teeth having been removed. It is not known if his former owner will face criminal charges.

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