Captive lions in appalling conditions

Inspectors from the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) wildlife protection unit obtained a warrant after receiving a complaint regarding lions that were in a shocking condition in the North West Province. Upon arrival, the inspectors were horrified to find two lion cubs that were unable to walk and appeared to be showing signs that they were suffering from a neurological condition. The NSPCA removed the two cubs for assessment and veterinary treatment by a specialist carnivore veterinarian.

Other issues such as small enclosures and inadequate shelter, no provision of water, overcrowding, and filthy and parasitic conditions were noted in the camps that contained lion, caracal, tiger, and leopard. 27 of the lions had mange and the caracal were obese and unable to properly groom themselves.

“It is deplorable that any animal would be forced to live in such conditions, with such medical ailments. The fact that these are wild animals that are already living unnatural lives in confinement for the purposes of trade, it just makes it more horrific,” said senior inspector Douglas Wolhuter, manager of the NSPCA’s wildlife protection unit.

The investigation is ongoing, and the NSPCA is currently building a strong case and have every intention of ensuring that justice is appropriately served for the animals.

The NSPCA would like to extend their sincerest thanks to the Lichtenburg South African Police Service (SAPS) for their tremendous support in enforcing the warrant.

The trade of wild animals opens the door to abhorrent cruelty, whether it be intentional or negligent. Where there is money and animals involved, there is bound to be cruelty.

Media statement: NSPCA

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