6 lions, 2 tigers found in Bahrain scrapyard
Manama, March 20, 2014
Six lions and two tigers have been discovered in a scrapyard in Salmabad.
Animal rights activists suspect the cats, which have been kept in unsecure cages close to a residential area, were abandoned by travelling circus Troy International Circus, which was in Bahrain in January, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) shelter operations manager Paul Duke expressed concern for the cats' welfare and said they have to be relocated as they could pose a safety risk if they manage to escape.
He said a team from the BSPCA will visit the site today to investigate.
"What worries me the most is that these animals might have been left by the circus that recently visited Bahrain," he said.
"As we know, this is something that has happened before as they didn't have another show to go to, so rather than shipping them back to Egypt, they abandoned them in Bahrain."
"Although the BSPCA cannot interfere directly we will be going to the site to check the animals' welfare and I am also concerned by the collapsible cages they are being kept in as it would be possible for the lions to escape from these, potentially posing a public safety risk."
The arrival of the circus to Adhari Park had earlier caused controversy among animal lovers following an incident in March 2011 when Golden Circus abandoned three lions and a cub at Al Ahli Club in Zinj.
Despite the BSPCA's attempts to save the cub, it died of disease and infection.
The animals were spotted by several people working near the yard who alerted the GDN.
One of the workers, an Indian man, said he was stunned to discover the large animals in tiny cages.
"A colleague told me he had seen five large lions, a small one and a tiger near to where we were working and at first I did not believe it," he said on the condition of anonymity.
"But when I went out there myself I could not believe these animals were here in Bahrain.
"I was shocked and very worried about them because they are in very small cages and they don't let them out."
He said he tried to speak to a group of men who appeared to own the animals and were living in a nearby caravan.
They told him they were training the cats for a circus.
The incident comes after reports of a man keeping a pet lion in his villa in Amwaj Islands, which created an uproar among residents.
Neighbours even reported seeing the baby lion being driven around the island in the front of the man's Lamborghini.
The GDN earlier reported that representatives of Troy International Circus said their six lions and two tigers were being well-cared for.
The circus was organised by Ghamdi Convention and Exhibition Centre and Mondial International Contracting. - TradeArabia News Service