To have a wild or exotic animal depicted on video in a context that is not his almost certainly means that behind the clip there is a story of contraband and often abuse. Those who create this content do it to gain views on their social networks and viewers often do not realize the situation, unknowingly contributing to this mechanism. This is what happened recently with a lion kept as a pet in the Cambodian estate of an individual of Chinese nationality: the animal was seized by local authorities who realized the situation precisely because the animal had been the protagonist of many videos on the sharing platform TikTok.
The animal, a rare specimen only 18 months old, had been imported into Cambodia from abroad, and transported to the villa of a man of Chinese nationality residing in the capital, Phnom Penh. In the videos, you could see the animal roaming the property, often in the company of the family dogs. While these clips may elicit fondness, they are portrayals behind potentially deadly abuse. To prevent it from harming the man and other guests in the villa, the lion was actually devoid of fangs and claws at an early age. The operation – carried out for the sole purpose of rendering the animal harmless – rendered it unfit for its natural habitat and even forever compromised its ability to survive outside of a domestic environment.
Local authorities explained that they were able to locate the animal later came across a series of viral videos who portrayed him on TikTok in April. The weeks of investigation led to a search of the house, where the feline was found and rescued. The animal was then handed over to a team of wildlife conservation experts, who are working to rehabilitate the animal in a suitable environment.