Pet lion returned to owner after Cambodian PM’s intervention

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A pet lion that was confiscated by Cambodian authorities last month has been returned to his owner after a surprise intervention by the prime minister.

The 18-month-old male lion was illegally smuggled into the country by a Chinese national, officials said.

They launched an inquiry in April after seeing TikTok videos of the lion at a villa in the capital, Phnom Penh.

The 70kg (11st) lion was seized on 27 June and moved to a rescue centre.

Since then the owner, a Chinese man named as Zhai Xinjiang in local media, has made appeals for the return of the lion on social media and in interviews.