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Zoo Cruelly Declaws Lioness So That She's 'Friendly With Visitors'

Declawing cats has become more and more scrutinized as our culture as we've grown more concerned about animal health than what they might do to our curtains.

Which I think is great.

There are lots of ways to prevent your kitty from tearing up the couch that don't involve surgery.

Because that's what declawing is and it can cause a lot of problems for the cat later in its life.

It's not just the claws that are removed, but the bones of their toes.

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It's like removing the end of your toes because you didn't want to keep dealing with cutting your nails.

Just as you can imagine that messing up how you walk, it also affects the gait for cats.

In a study of the behavior and medical histories of 274 cats, there were troubling finds.

Unsplash | Max Baskakov

Many of the cats displayed signs of chronic pain due to how the loss of their toe bones affected their gait.

That pain likely contributed to more aggression from the felines as well as behavioral problems around urination. Gravel-like litter would cause them to pee on softer surfaces, like carpets.

So let's all agree that declawing house cats is pointless at best, but often cruel.

However bad that might be, declawing a lion in captivity is one million times worse!

And that's just what the Rafah Zoo in southern Gaza did to "Falestine," a 14-year-old lioness in their care.

The procedure was performed two weeks ago, but Falestine has only just been allowed out of her cage.

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The zoo's owner, Mohammed Jumaa, told The Sun, "I’m trying to reduce the aggression of the lioness so it can be friendly with visitors."

It's only the smallest of comforts to know that it wasn't a complete declawing.

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Gaza has no specialized animal hospitals, so the zoo's vet was forced to perform the procedure himself. The claws will grow back in about six months — and they presumably plan to do it all over again.

When she was let out, Falestine was described as "distressed."

She pawed at a tree as though trying to scratch it with her claws.

Of course, the obvious thing to do with a giant, distressed cat, is put a 12-year old in the pen with her.

It's bad enough seeing the pics of adult handlers playing with her. She still has teeth, people!

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Thankfully, the kid wasn't hurt and said, "I am happy because I played with the lion and it did not bite me or tear my clothes."


The owners fully admit that the procedure was done to lure more families to the zoo, which is going through financial difficulties.

Dudes, this is not the way to solve that problem.

h/t: The Sun

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