Update: Thanks to pressure by animal
advocates, zoo officials have moved Diego to a larger enclosure, where he can
now feel grass under his paws. They have also moved a lioness in with him, and
he seems to be relishing the company of his new friend.
Published May 22, 2012:
Diego, a young
lion, has spent most of his life alone in a cement and chain-link cage. Mexico’s
wildlife protection agency, PROFEPA, seized him during a criminal investigation
when Diego was just a few months old. PROFEPA placed Diego in the Zacango Zoo
outside Mexico City, where he has languished in a barren cell, alone (lions are
by far the most social of the big cats). Telemundo star Pablo Azar has teamed up with PETA to persuade PROFEPA—which has legal custody of Diego—to
send the lonely lion to a U.S. sanctuary that is standing by to receive him.
Photographs and video footage
provided to PETA depict Diego pacing incessantly in his tiny cage—behavior
that is indicative of stress, boredom, and frustration.
In his letter to
PROFEPA, Azar implored:
life has no enrichment, and he paces back and forth in his tiny space, making
it clear that he is losing his mind in this unnatural situation. … Please do
the compassionate thing and see to it that Diego is transported to the United
States as soon as possible so that he does not have to suffer another day.
the sanctuary, Diego could finally enjoy the company of other lions, receive
veterinary care, enjoy a vast space in which to roam and explore, and recover
from the stress of intensive
Article source: PETA Files