A Free State lion farm has been flagged after an unconfirmed number of big cats were discovered living in appalling conditions by inspectors recently.
OFM News reports, according to global animal welfare organisation, Four Paws, the cats were discovered by inspectors from the Free State Department of Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Destea), in collaboration with those from the National Council of SPCAs. The unnamed lion farm not only contravened several sections of the Animal Protection Act, via not providing enough space for the lion enclosures, but also depriving the big cats of adequate food and water.
Thirteen lion carcasses were discovered in a locked freezer container with meat rotting on the floor. Four Paws is outraged at the discovery, further calling on government to bring an end to trophy and exploitation. Destea is yet to comment on the incident but has vowed to do so soon.
It comes over a month after Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary in the Free State became home to two tigers transported from the Seaview Predator Park in Port Elizabeth, following the mauling of an employee in that park. The two tigers were relocated in an emergency rescue operation. According to an animal welfare organisation – Four Paws – the 8-year-old male tiger, named Jasper, breached the fence of his enclosure on June 16 and killed an employee of the park, who was working on fences in close proximity to Jasper’s enclosure.
The organisation’s Yvonne Nieuwenhuis in a statement explains Jasper further breached the fences of a neighbouring enclosure where he killed another male tiger, to get to a female tiger who was in the oestrus cycle. The electric fences of Jasper’s enclosure are said to not have been working as the Park was busy with repairs, which provided an opportunity for the tiger to escape.