Heartbreaking News As 30 Lions Suffering In A Captive-Bred Lion Farm In South Africa Had To Be Euthanized After Devastating Wildfire & Severe Neglect
Fire is one of the worst threats to farms and even more tragic when it affects innocent animals who are unfairly confined with no way to escape. Such was the heartbreaking case when a fire recently burned through a captive-bred lion farm in the Free State province of South Africa. Sadly, 30 lions had to be euthanized due to the severity of their injuries.
According to a heart-wrenching post on the Bloemfontein SPCA Facebook page, the owner of the farm knew that the lions were injured by the fire but did not administer any medical treatment for five days.
“On the 3rd day, working tirelessly searching for injured animals, we came across a captive, breeding lion farm,” shared the organization, which was assisting farmers in the affected areas that were destroyed. “We were refused entry by the owner in the Glen district, even though blazing flames destroyed most of the farmland, and especially the enclosures where the lions were kept. This was a clear indication that all was not well on this farm.”
The Bloemfontein SPCA explained that it had no option, but to obtain a warrant to enter the property.
“What we found shocked us to the bone,” stated the organization. “We arrived at the lion enclosures and our hearts broke and our souls wept. We saw that the lions couldn’t escape the blazing fires and the inhalation of smothering fumes were evident. The lions didn’t move. They all laid in one spot with their paws turned upwards. Their fragile bodies were burnt, and their faces carried the devastating scars of the flames just days ago.”
It became obvious that the callous owner no longer cared about the animals on the farm, which included 59 lions and three tigers. He did, however, reportedly care about saving their bones so he could presumably profit from the equally disdain lion bone trade. The animals that survived the fire were left to starve, with several lions resorting to eating another to stay alive.
“I have never been this angry in my 30 years at the Bloemfontein SPCA. The lion is part of our Big 5 in South Africa. The lion has huge status and as a country, we are supposed to be proud of our indigenous animals, but we have failed them,” stated Senior Inspector Reinet Meyer at the Bloemfontein SPCA. “We cultivated an industry, legal or illegal, that misuses our animals for entertainment like hunting, bone trade, poaching, circus tricks, cub petting or keeping them in zoos or as pets. This must stop! We should leave these animals to be free in the wild without any human contact, but we have failed that as a country. These lions were captive, and they burned, these lions were never free.”
Assisted by a veterinarian who sedated the lions to assess the level of injuries, the Bloemfontein SPCA team was horrified to find lions with paw pads burned off, large blisters underneath their paws and in their mouths, and blood oozing from their wounds.
The organization, which has spent an enormous amount of money to sedate, treat, euthanize, and cremate these lions, has since opened a case of animal cruelty against the owner.
Justice Must Be Served!
Donations to help the Bloemfontein SPCA continue their important work of assisting these, and other animals in need, can be made HERE!