Human Interest

Cambodia PM allows return of lion pet to owner

Bangkok, Jul 5 (EFE).- Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen allowed Monday the return a lion pet to its owner in the capital Phnom Penh after being confiscated in late June.

“After talking with the Minister of Agriculture, we have decided to allow the return of the animal to the owner under the condition that they build a suitable enclosure to guarantee the safety of the people and the neighborhood,” the premier posted to his Facebook account.

The big cat, raised in captivity, is 18 months-old and weighs 70 kilograms, Wildlife Alliance said.

“The owner had removed the lion’s canine teeth and severely clipped his claws. Such modifications can dramatically reduce wild cats’ quality of life,” the NGO said.

The authorities confiscated the animal on 27 June after footage of the feline in the garden of a huge villa in an exclusive neighborhood drew attention on social media.

Cambodia, a country with no laws prohibiting exotic animals in private residences, imposed $30,000 fine on the owner of the lion. EFE


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