Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Vets save lions from illegal zoo in Bulgaria
FOUR PAWS vets provided care to all the lions and sterilised two male lions to prevent further inbreeding.

Big cats were the result of inbreeding 

An urgent rescue mission has been launched by vets to save five lions from an illegal zoo in the city of Razgrad, Bulgaria.

International animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS said that the big cats have been severely neglected in recent years. The cats are the result of inbreeding and are living in dreadful conditions.

The zoo is owned by the city, so FOUR PAWS convinced the mayor of Razgrad to intervene. The veterinary team provided  care to all the lions and sterilised two male lions to prevent further inbreeding.

One lion that was considered to be in a critical condition was moved by FOUR PAWS to a nearby zoo for further treatment. The organisation aims to move most of the former zoo lions, which include two cubs, to its own sanctuaries.

"To see the animals like that was shocking. Never in their lifetime have these lions been examined by a vet,” said FOUR PAWS big cat expert Barbara van Genne. “This is very serious, especially in light of the systematic inbreeding of the big cats. Here, the descendants of siblings have procreated uncontrolled due to lack of care.”

In the past, bred lions were sold to other zoos, circuses and private individuals. However, the introduction of stricter legislation in 2008 led to a fall in demand - hence why the lions remained in the Razgrad Zoo.

Due to lack of physical exercise, FOUR PAWS says that the older lions suffer from severe spinal problems and that it is likely the cubs will too. A three-year-old lion, who was checked over in the nearby zoo, was found to have sand in his bladder and fibrosis in the kidneys.

The Razgrad Zoo lost its licence in 2014, but it is still open to visitors for free. According to FOUR PAWS, the unprofessional breeding and sale of lions was used to finance the enterprise.  

Only one lion will remain in Razgrad until local authorities have decided whether to shut down the zoo. Until then, FOUR PAWS will keep a close eye on the wellbeing of the cats, as well as that of the other zoo inhabitants.

Image (C) FOUR PAWS

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.