LIVING HELL: ‘World’s Saddest Lion’ Looking Like A Walking Skeleton In Enclosure At Chinese Zoo

A frail Lion that looks like a walking skeleton has become too weak to chew.

Shocking footage showed the skinny lion walking through its enclosed cage 

The Lion, called Ala, is so emaciated he can barely walk through his enclosure at the Jinniu Lake Safari Park in Nanjing, China with outraged social media users accusing the zoo of inflicting suffering on the lion and starving their animals.

Shocking footage has emerged of a starving lion which is barely more than skin and bones at a Chinese zoo.

Many have been left furious and disturbed by the sight of the big cat who looks so malnourished it is struggling to carry out basic functions such as walking.

In the horrifying video viewers can see the Lion’s ribs because it is so thin.

The clip – shared later on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok – shows the ultra-skinny Lion wobbling down a walkway.

The lion is so frail he can barely walk

It caused outrage among viewers who accused the zoo of not taking proper care of the feeble feline.

One user said: ‘This is too much suffering. If you can’t afford to feed it, send it to a different zoo that can.

‘Why let him suffer? It should have been left living in nature.’

Meanwhile, another added: ‘This zoo is too much, starving the lions like this.’

Officials at the zoo later attributed the lion’s shocking appearance to its old age because he can no longer chew his food. 

They claimed that the 25-year-old big cat would be 80 if he was a human.

Officials say he is fed a special diet of liquid protein and small cuts of meat and is watched over by specially trained vets and keepers in a private cage.

The zoo added: ‘Usually, we let it out for a walk in the morning or evening.’

Despite the concerning footage, Jinniu Lake Safari Park is ranked in the top five family-friendly things to do in Nanjing on

It has an overall rating of 4.2 out of 5 but there are also hundreds of negative reviews, with some visitors citing the zoo’s ‘poor management’ and others complaining of the huge costs.

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Victory! Suffering Giant Pandas YaYa & LeLe At The Memphis Zoo Will Finally Be Sent To A Sanctuary In China

Suffering: Giant Pandas YaYa And LeLe At Memphis Zoo Credit: Panda Voices

UPDATE! A huge victory for Giant Pandas YaYa, 22, and LeLe, 24, who will be sent back to their homeland of China, according to a statement from the Memphis Zoo. In Defense of Animals and Panda Voices, who have been lobbying for the pandas’ release for nearly two years, announced the news today.

“After far too many years of suffering in a grossly inappropriate zoo exhibit, YaYa and LeLe will finally get improved care at a specialized panda refuge in their homeland,” said Brittany Michelson, Captive Animals Campaigner for In Defense of Animals.

“We applaud the Memphis Zoo and Chinese authorities for making the ethical decision to return the pandas to China once the loan contract ends in April 2023. We thank Billie Eilish and our many thousands of supporters worldwide for helping us encourage the zoo to do the right thing,” continued Michelson. “We are delighted to celebrate this momentous victory. Animals suffer tremendously in zoos, and we hope this will prompt all zoos to put animals’ needs first and release them to accredited sanctuaries.”

YaYa and LeLe have been suffering at the Memphis Zoo since 2003. The pandas are visibly distressed and malnourished and spend their days pacing or sleeping, clearly bored in their dirty, small enclosure. YaYa has a chronic skin condition and LeLe has significant teeth issues resulting in broken molars.

“We are overwhelmed with joy at the news of YaYa and LeLe returning home to China!” said Taciana Santiago of Panda Voices.

“We thank the Memphis Zoo for allowing this to happen and hope they provide the pandas the conditions they need to be fit to endure the long travel. We will continue to monitor their situation until we are sure they are in a suitable environment,” continued Santiago. “We look forward to seeing them live a life of retirement and peace in China. Big thanks to In Defense of Animals and all of our supporters who stayed vigilant on this journey! King LeLe and Queen YaYa will soon be home!”

The campaign to free YaYa and LeLe was supported by singer Billie Eilish.

Thankfully, the loan contract between China and the Memphis Zoo is ending in April 2023 and they will be returning home.

How you can help us support those on the ground:

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“Empty Shell” (Brain Damage)


I want my money back I came to see an Elephant I paid to see a conservation ambassador Inspire me to help conserve the species Especially her kind

I saw an empty shell

She looks like an Elephant But what is there to see, not Happy She is a poor teacher of Elephant lessons She is no solitary animal, but kept confined Like all captives, neurones scrambled, brain denied Stereotypy is not a dance – no, a pathetic trance A sign she can’t be happy in mind She’s not right in the head.

She is an empty shell

They have broken personalities All the Elephants with names, captive They are poor Elephant facsimiles They have the stature, the thick skin and bones They are devoid of Elephant spirit, truncated They are subjected to Floydian ‘Brain Damage’ They are all caught on the dark side (“‘As a matter of fact, it’s all dark’*) Cut off from the herd

They are empty shells

We pay the price to see: see the price they pay We fall for the old ‘conservation /education’ story We fail to see the oppression and the damage done We should be able to see for ourselves We could accept they are Sentients like us We could see them better in a sanctuary We could do the right thing Will we?

Collect all the empty shells

Put them back where they can refill Regain their freedom and society Be Elephants again, herd mentality That would be something to see Is it just a Zoological fantasy?

I find myself unhappy for Happy, again

If I find myself outside her enclosure (But I wouldn’t pay to go in anyway) Watching her sway song, groundhog days One day closer to her end of days Inspired to write yet another Happy poem Adding to ‘Not Happy’ ‘Personable’ ‘Elephant Stomp’ After the first setback of her legal person court case What would I do if I were you?

Might just as well go to a museum Pay to see a stuffed Elephant This one already is

I want my money back I came to see an Elephant Largest land animal, majestic Social fellow-sentient being Exemplary, salutary

I got an empty shell

*From ‘Brain Damage’ on the Pink Floyd album ‘Dark Side of the Moon’

**From ‘The Needle and the Damage Done’ by Neil Young

For all captive Elephants – Happy, Lucy, Shankar, The Fresno Elephants and so many more.

Written By Anthony Lovell.

What you can do to help wildlife:

Please Sign The Petition  To Free Happy From Her Imprisonment At The Bronx Zoo HERE!

Happy the Elephant had her day in court. We humans are better for it.

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We believe EVERY animal should be treated with respect, empathy, and understanding. We raise awareness to protect and conserve wild, captive, companion and farm animals. It is vital that we protect animals against acts of cruelty, abuse, and neglect by enforcing established animal welfare laws and, when necessary, take action to ensure that those who abuse animals are brought to justice.

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