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A lion cub was recently found in the most baffling circumstances near Utrecht, the Netherlands. The young animal was discovered abandoned in a metal dog cage in the middle of a grassy field. He was found by a stunned passerby who immediately contacted the police and, fortunately, the animal was soon picked up by a local big cat sanctuary Stichting Leeuw, The Dodo reports. But the bizarre circumstances of the young lion ending up in the cage still remain a mystery.

The cub, now named Remy, is estimated to be around five months old and is finally under the professional care of the sanctuary team. According to Daphne Pels, a keeper at Stichting Leeuw, he was most likely bought in another country from an illegal breeder or from a circus. Pels believes that the lion might have been kept as a pet until he grew too big for the people keeping him.

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Whatever the real story is, the way in which the lion was abandoned caused the poor animal to suffer much distress. He was scared and confused when he was being picked up, clearly not faring well after being confined to the small cage for a prolonged period of time. The cub had also visibly scratched his nose while trying to get out of the cage.

The lion is now safe and sound at his new home and is acclimatizing well. But, unfortunately, he will probably not be able to be released into the wild to live in his natural habitat, since he was most likely bred and raised in captivity. The cub’s story is a sad reminder that wild cats do not belong in captivity and simply cannot be kept as pets. Being left all alone in a tiny cage in the field is something that should never happen to any animal, and the fact that it was done to a wild animal like the young lion is staggering. Click here to sign a Care2 petition urging the authorities to take the investigation seriously and make sure that the individuals responsible for the lion ending up in captivity and being recklessly abandoned are brought to justice.

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Image source: Stichting Leeuw/Facebook

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