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From Free Malaysia Today:
PETALING JAYA: How can a senior lion’s claws become so overgrown to the point of piercing its paw pads and causing him severe injury without zoo authorities being aware of it, asked Sean Whyte the CEO of wildlife NGO Nature Alert today.
Speaking to FMT today, Sean asked, “How can a lion’s claws become this overgrown without a vet or keeper noticing?
“Where is the vet who, by law, should be inspecting animals on a regular basis?”
He was commenting on a video that went viral yesterday of an emaciated 18-year-old lion at the Johor zoo, dragging its rear end as it struggled to stand and stagger away as horrific onlookers watched.
Captured by Twitter user @nardnazeer, the 30-second clip caused outrage among netizens who viewed it and caught the eye of Johor princess Tunku Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Tunku Ibrahim, who demanded the lion be treated immediately.
In an article in The Star Online today, State Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Abd Latif Bandi explained, “After being notified of the lion’s condition, we cut the claws and gave the lion the necessary treatment. We also put it in a separate cage so that it can recover and gain weight.”
He explained that the lion was the oldest among 13 others at the zoo and hoped the public would not get the misconception that the animal was being mistreated in any way.
Reacting to his statement, Whyte said, “Despite years of us (Nature Alert) complaining about neglect, cruelty to animals and law-breaking at Johor Zoo, it still goes on.
“Why is this centre for animal torture even allowed to keep 14 lions in barbaric conditions reminiscent of a Roman amphitheatre?”