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.
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 cub was given to the country’s animal protection agency.
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.
“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.
Photos Douane Française/Flickr