Circus Lion Cub Dies

Circus animals leave Bahrain


ANIQA HAIDER,  Posted on » Monday, May 02, 2011

CIRCUS animals stranded in Bahrain for several months have finally been sent to Muscat, organisers told the GDN.

Five lions, a cub and a tiger had been stranded in Bahrain and organisers were trying to send them to Muscat via King Fahad Causeway after it re-opened last month.

But the lion cub died last month, drawing attention from local and international animal protection societies.

Company managing director Fadhel Al Bado said they had provided shelter and best facilities to the animals, but were compelled to keep them in Bahrain following delays in re-opening of the causeway and getting permission. The animals were finally sent out of the kingdom on Saturday.

“We were waiting to get permission from authorities in Bahrain and Muscat, and finally, the animals have been sent off to Muscat,” said Mr Al Bado.

“Our team provided best care to these animals more than anyone else,” added Mr Al Bado.

“The lion cub was fine with us and I don’t know why animal protection activists made such a big deal out of it.

“They called animal protection societies from all over the world and took the cub into custody, where it was not taken care and died.

“Last season, when the circus arrived in Bahrain, we had the same problem with a cub, but it was well taken care of by our experts.”

The GDN reported on April 12 that a dedicated enclosure for the treatment of exotic animals will be built at a new animal welfare centre, in memory of the stranded lion cub that died this month.

The Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) plans to set up the facility following the death of Afua, a Swahili word meaning mercy or protection.

The seven-month-old cub lost its battle to dehydration and other ailments at the animal sanctuary where he was under treatment.

The new facility is set to be located in the BSPCA’s BD330,000 new animal sanctuary in Askar.

The BSPCA earlier contacted officials at Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve and Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife, but is still awaiting a response.

The cub was earlier said to be showing symptoms of a chronic disease it could have picked up before arriving in Bahrain.

Afua had suffered a minor seizure on April 4 and the sanctuary team had revived it.

He was collected by the BSPCA after meeting circus organisers.

Initial post-mortem findings suggested that the primary cause of Afua’s death was a profound anaemia following chronic kidney failure, according to UK-based Born Free Foundation head veterinary surgeon and wildcat expert John Knight.

Mr Knight had arrived in Bahrain to assess the cub’s condition but the animal had already died.

Organisers earlier said they had lost BD61,000 because there have been no shows for the past two months. Families were expected to flock to the Golden Circus, which was set up near Al Ahli Club, Zinj.

Bahrain-based organiser Frsan International Management said it brought a host of international acts together for the circus, including performing animals, acrobats, gymnasts, aerial performers, stilt walkers and jugglers.

The circus animals and crew were brought to Bahrain last November for Eid and the National Day celebrations.

They were supposed to leave Bahrain after the National Day holidays, but organisers extended the shows until next month.

However, shows were cancelled following the start of unrest last month.

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