LISTEN: Westville homeowner says lion cubs ‘weren’t meant to stay forever’

LISTEN: Westville homeowner says lion cubs ‘weren’t meant to stay forever’

A Westville woman who kept young lions on her premises insists they were well looked after and freely roamed their one-acre property. 

westville homeowner says lion cubs ‘weren’t meant to stay forever’

Authorities were alerted after the pair of cubs, known as Nala and Simba, were spotted in a yard in the Durban west suburb this week.

Sabeehah Paruk says she arrived home on Tuesday to find the SPCA and police at her door.

"I got home from picking up my daughter from school and I saw the SPCA van here and I panicked. I immediately woke up my brother, and I told him they are here for the cubs. 

"We tried to avoid any situation because we knew how big it would get. We thought if we just tried to hide them, they were going to be going away this weekend in any case." 

READ: Two lion cubs removed from property in Westville

Paruk says she and her brother were looking after the cubs while working to get them released to a reserve.

"My brother did get them from a farmer in Botswana who couldn't take the cubs on. That is how my brother offered to foster them for four weeks. We fed them milk. We looked after them like proper pets. They had everything above board." 

The animals were taken in by the Kloof SPCA on Tuesday.

Paruk says she has been overwhelmed ever since with people flying drones over her property to catch a glimpse.

ALSO READ: Police open case after lion cubs found on Westville property

"I am heartbroken, but we do understand that they are animals. They do need to be released back into the wild at some point. It was a matter of a few days because they were supposed to go this weekend. We were never ever supposed to hold them here forever at our residential property." 

On Wednesday, KZN police said a case had been opened at Westville SAPS against the property owners under the Environmental Management Act.

They have not arrested anyone.


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