This young male lion, estimated at 18 to 24 months old, was discovered by game scouts carrying out an anti-poaching patrol on the Eastern border of Mozambique’s Official Coutada 9’s conservation area.
He had been caught in a poachers gin trap and was in a bad way even though a healthy young lioness was with him.
In situation like this we would normally recommend that the animal be euthanised but after hearing that other cats have managed to hunt successfully and breed with only 3 legs we decided to give him a fighting chance
Luckily, we were able to organize a wildlife veterinarian, Joao Almeida, who through Saving the Survivors was flown up by private charter from Maputo to attend to this unlucky lion.
In an operation that lasted over 3 hours the trap was removed and a clean amputation was carried out on the destroyed joints. Thoroughly cleaned and with a long acting anti-biotic administered, the wound was sutured in a manner that will allow the stump to bear weight on undamaged tissue. The prognosis is that he has a good chance to make a recovery.
Rio Save Safaris staff will continue to drop meat in the nearby vicinity of the cats and allow them to find easy meals until he is back on his feet, well at least 3 of them.
This is not the first time Rio Save Safaris has done this to help a trapped lion but it is the first time we could get rapid veterinarian care for the animal.