Lion cub rescued from Cape Town suburb

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 22 August 2019

Detectives involved with organised crime investigations responded to a tip-off that a lion cub had been found in the Western Cape illegally, after being transported from Thabazimbi in Limpopo.

Various addresses were searched in the Cape Town suburb of Athlone, east of the city centre on the Cape Flats, according to South African Police Services (SAPS) spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana.

The cub, with a ‘street value’ of about R50,000 was found in Athlone on Wednesday 21 August and rescued by detectives HS Schroeder and AJ van Greunen of the police’s stock theft unit. The baby lion was reportedly in good condition.

A lion cub, with a ‘street value’ of about R50,000 was found in Athlone on Wednesday 21 August and rescued by detectives HS Schroeder and AJ van Greunen of the police’s stock theft unit. Image: supplied

‘A case docket of possession of an endangered species was registered by the stock theft unit and the lion cub was taken to a place of safety.’

‘Three people aged between 28 and 30 were taken in for questioning, investigation is ongoing,’ said Rwexana.

Lions, along with cheetah and leopard, are classified as ‘vulnerable species’ under the national biodiversity law. Because of this, possession of these big cats in private homes is restricted and permits are required.

There are an estimated 300 farms on which lions are bred and kept for commercial purposes in South Africa. South Africa holds more lions in captivity than any other country in the world, according to animal welfare organisation Four Paws and recent studies. While there are only about 3,000 wild lions living in national parks and reserves in the country, there are between 8,000 and 12,000 lions living in captivity.

‘Today, the official number of captive bred lions is around 50% more than it was in 2010. Not only are these animals born to be killed, but they often live in appalling conditions and are subjected to intense animal cruelty,’ says Four Paws country director, Fiona Miles.

Also read: Saving Simba: 5 things you need to know about the lion trade

Image: supplied






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