Cambodian police officers have seized a defanged and declawed ‘pet’ lion that appeared in several TikTok videos taken at a villa in Phnom Penh.
The 18-month-old juvenile male, weighing approximately 154lbs, had been imported from overseas by its owner, a Chinese national, to be raised in his home, environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said.
“Cambodian authorities began investigating this lion since we saw it on TikTok in late April,” Pheaktra said on Sunday.
Wildlife Alliance – an animal rescue non-government organization that assisted with the raid – said the conditions of a private residence were “not appropriate for a wild animal”.
“In addition, the lion’s canine teeth had been removed, along with its claws, which immensely reduces a lion’s quality of life,” it said.
Authorities spotted the big cat on TikTok videos in late April.— Business Insider Australia (@BIAUS) June 28, 2021
The lion was subsequently transferred to the Phnom Tamao Zoological Park and Wildlife Rescue Center, in Cambodia’s Takeo province.