A defanged and declawed lion trafficked to an upscale neighbourhood of the Cambodian capital was on Monday returned to its owner following the unlikely intervention of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The 18-month-old cub, weighing 70 kilogrammes (154 pounds), had been imported from overseas, officials said. It was raised by its owner, a Chinese national, who named it Hima.
Authorities learned of the unlikely pet after seeing TikTok videos of Hima playing in a Phnom Penh villa. The lion was confiscated on June 27 and brought to a wildlife rescue centre.