More than 100 abused lions found in shocking conditions – owner charged

Animal welfare officers have discovered more than 100 abused lions and some close to death in an overcrowded breeding facility in South Africa.

In what is one of the most shocking cases of animal neglect the lions were rescued but for some it was too late and they had to be put down.

Some were lacking in fur due to a skin disease caused by parasitic mites, held in filthy, overcrowded enclosures with more than 30 held in spaces designed for two, according to National Geographic.

Conservation Action Trust/Humane Society International

The lions were discovered after an anonymous tip-off which led to a visit from the National Council for Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA)

“It’s hard to describe because it leaves you feeling hollow, knowing that you’ve got the king of the jungle in conditions like that,” says Douglas Wolhuter, manager of the NSPCA wildlife protection unit that inspected the farm. “It’s soul-destroying.”

Conservation Action Trust/Humane Society International

At least three cubs at Pienika Farm were suffering from a neurological condition called meningoencephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, that left them unable to walk.

The NSPCA has charged the owner with violating South Africa’s Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962, which could result in a fine of up to about $2,700 or one year in jail for each charge that leads to a conviction.

Considering the state of these lions it’s thought they were being bred for the lion bone trade where they will be used to make traditional medicine in Asia.

Conservation Action Trust/Humane Society International

Let’s hope something can be done to help these desperate lions, it’s shocking that some of us think we can treat our animals this way.

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