When we first wrote about this, we theorized that this lion, kept in Taman Safari Bogor, is either extremely sleepy or drugged – the latter being the possibility that Scorpion Wildlife Monitoring Group, the group that uploaded these images, suggested.
But Taman Safari Indonesia yesterday denied that they had drugged the lion, which was revealed to be a cub. A spokesperson for the animal theme park said they have rules in place so that the photo prop cub can get all the naptime he requires.
“Lion cubs sleep for more than 12 hours [a day]. The lion in the video wasn’t drugged, he was sleeping,” said Yulius Suprihardo of Taman Safari Indonesia’s Public Relations Department, as quoted by BeritaSatu yesterday.
Errr, so why did the lion handler in the video have to force the cub to hold his head up several times in the video? If sleep for a lion is as important as Taman Safari claims, surely it would be better for the cub to nap in his enclosure (which should resemble his natural habitat) instead of being used as a photo prop?
Scorpion investigators have reported this case to the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), so we’ll just wait and see if officials will investigate and find out what is really going on at Taman Safari.