A 16-year-old lion with skin cancer is receiving radiation therapy in a hospital in South Africa.
Pretoria: In South Africa, patients at the Muelmed Mediclinic share a ward with Chaos, a 570lb lion suffering from skin cancer, reported the LADBible.
The 16-year-old lion that lived at Lory Park Animal and Owl Sanctuary. Chaos is undergoing radiation therapy to treat the lesions caused by skin cancer on his nose. South Africa has no radiotherapy hospitals for animals, thus the lion is being treated by five radiotherapists and an oncologist in a hospital for humans. “He is like our child, we will do anything we need for him,” said Kara Heynis, his keeper at the sanctuary. She also said that his treatment is expensive, but ‘absolutely worth it’.
“We're a registered zoological facility so he was accompanied at all times and had all the necessary permits. We started the whole process of transporting him to the hospital at 10:30 and returned back home at 13:15,” said radiation specialist Hanri Reynolds. Fortunately, there we no other human patients in the hospital when the lion was brought in.
Currently, Chaos is being kept company by a female lion in his enclosure. He is being kept in a shaded area till his treatment is completed. Usually, animals that don’t have fun, such as hippos, warthogs and elephants are more prone to skin cancer as compared to animals that have fur.
Lions live around 14 years in the wild, but up to 22 years in captivity. Farmed lions that are sold to tourist attractions were recently found to be in an appalling condition in a South Africa zoo. These lions were infected by parasitic mites and were thus hairless. The skin condition, called mange, caused severe itching, scabs and skin lesions.
A HSI report showed that up to 12,000 animals a year are bred on 200 farms. They are then sold to tourist centres or sent on safaris as an attraction, with the tourists unaware of the animals’ suffering.