French customs officers rescue lion cub from garage in Marseille

Not yet weaned, only a few kilograms and perhaps 1 to 2 months old.

She was destined for the illegal wildlife trade.

That was until France’s customs agency received a tip and moved quickly Wednesday to save a female lion cub, which was locked in a travel kennel tucked into a garage in Marseille.

A worker at the building was arrested.

One lucky cub.Douane Française/Flickr

He told French customs unknown people from another building handed the wild cat to him.

They “did not know how to deal with it,” the man told officials.

The baby lion was in a kennel in a garage in Marseille. Douane Française/Flickr

The cub was given to the country’s animal protection agency. 

The cub is safe and sound. Douane Française/Flickr

While this is an unusual seizure by French customs, it’s not the first.

In January 2007, two lion cubs were discovered in Montpellier.

They were transported in a passenger car driving between Portugal and Italy.

The cubs, again just two months old and not yet weaned, came from Belgium, had been cared for in Lisbon and destined for a buyer in in Italy.

Instead, they wound up at a zoo in Marseille.

Who knows where this big little cat would have ended up. Douane Française/Flickr

“French Customs is particularly involved in the fight against trafficking in endangered animal and plant species,” officials said in a statement. “In 2017, it made 484 findings on specimens protected by the CITES Convention and was able to rescue 575 live animals with the help of health authorities and animal welfare associations.”

There’s no word on the future home of this rescued cub.

The cub’s future in France is uncertain. Douane Française/Flickr

Photos Douane Française/Flickr

About the author

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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