Declawed and defanged TikTok lion rescued from rich people in Cambodia

Male lion looking into camera
Male lion, photo: David Heiling on Unsplash

Cambodian authorities rescued an 18-month-old lion that had been declawed, defanged and illegally kept as a pet in a wealthy district of Phnom Penh.

They said they had tracked down the animal in the Boeung Keng Kang district after videos of the lion went viral on TikTok. To make the wild lion ‘safe for humans’, the owners had his canine teeth and claws removed.

The officers found the male lion lying in the house’s hallway with a collar around his neck on Sunday. He was sedated and taken to the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre, officials said.

“He was a rare species who was smuggled from abroad,” environment ministry spokesperson Neth Pheaktra said. “According to the law, people don’t have the right to raise wildlife at home, especially rare species.”

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