Cambodia’s Hun Sen intervenes to return pet lion to owner

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A lion has been removed from a wildlife rescue sanctuary and returned to a luxurious villa in Phnom Penh after the intervention of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who also waived a $30,000 fine for the animal’s Chinese owner.

The 18-month-old giant cat had been living in the backyard of the central city property until last month, when images of the 70-kg lion appeared on social media app TikTok and prompted a raid by authorities.

Working with environmental groups, authorities transferred the lion to the state-owned Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center, which is run in partnership with Wildlife Alliance.

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