Chinese national’s TikTok lion spotlights Cambodia’s exotic pet problem

Officials removed the 18-month-old lion, whose canine teeth and claws had been pulled out, from an upmarket Phnom Penh neighbourhood last Sunday.

Conservationists have warned of the growing number of exotic animals being kept as pets in Cambodia
’s capital, after a 18-month-old lion was seized from a Chinese national’s Phnom Penh villa last week.

The 70kg male was removed by Forestry Administration officials last Sunday
from a property in the city’s Boeng Keng Kang district – where a square metre of land can cost as much as US$5,500, according to real estate firm CBRE.

Authorities said they were alerted to the lion’s existence after seeing it appear in a TikTok
video in April. Animal rescue NGO Wildlife Alliance, which helped with the raid, said its claws and canine teeth had been removed.

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