AN emaciated lion that was saved from abuse in a circus is now so weak it can no longer stand after losing more than half its body weight in a zoo.
Jupiter the lion had been doing well in a refuge after being saved from a circus, but now he can no longer stand after being moved to a zoo having lost 31 stone.
After being saved he had been living in the Villa Lorena animal shelter in the city of Cali in the Valle del Cauca Department in south-eastern Colombia after it was rescued from a circus where it was abused and had his claws cut off.
But the Administrative Department of Environmental Management (DAGMA) announced in 2017 that the lion would have to leave the shelter as the facilities could not guarantee the welfare of the animal.
The feline was transferred to the Los Caimanes zoo in the city of Monteria which has been dubbed the world’s worst, in the province of Cordoba on March 17.
Jupiter’s former carer at the shelter Ana Julia Torres said: “He weighs 90 kilogrammes, he cannot stand up or move, he is thin, and he has his kidneys and his liver damaged, I could not recognise him.
“I felt a heartbeat and I knew I had to come and see him. I need to look after him so he knows his mother is here.
“We have a special connection as mother and son, a loving connection.”
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It is unclear why the lion has lost so much weight.
The Colombian Minister of Defence Carlos Homes Trujillo has announced that the lion will be transferred back to the city of Cali this week.
It is unclear if it will be transferred to the Villa Lorena shelter again.
Holmes Trujillo said on Twitter: “After defining all the procedures with Dagma, the Air Force will transfer the lion Jupiter to Cali.”