A holidaymaker has called out a government-run zoo in the Philippines, saying that they found a blind lioness 'clearly suffering' in a cage that 'was not clean enough'.
The visitor, a woman who wishes to remain anonymous, said that Lyka the lioness had been written off as a 'breeding mistake' by the Maasin Zoo in Iloilo, southern Philippines, having gone blind after being born in 2013 with eyesight problems.
The woman said that she felt sorry for the five-year-old lioness, explaining that she looked depressed in her small, three-feet-wide cage.
"It was heartbreaking," the woman said.
"I wanted to cry. Seeing such beautiful animals locked up and clearly suffering was so disheartening.
"The lioness cub's name is Lyka. Her eyesight has gone and now she's completely blind. I felt so sorry for her. She's just five.
"I asked the staff about this and they just said that she was a breeding mistake. She looks so neglected and depressed.
"Lyka's locked up in such a small cage, there's no room for her to do the things she should be doing."
She added: "It was obvious me to me that the cage was not clean enough. We called out to her and she moved her paw a little bit but apart from that she was still. She looked weak.''
In the cage next to Lyka's the visitor saw a fully-grown lion, which she claimed was also in a state of ill health.
She added: "I am sure that anybody who visits that that zoo doesn't come away with a happy feeling. How could they?
"If they do, then they're lying to themselves. I found it to be such a horrible place.
"The staff told me that they don't have the funds to improve the zoo, but that's just no excuse.
"If the animals are suffering then they should move them to another place where they're properly cared for."
Having seen the plight of Lyka up close, the holidaymaker is now urging animal welfare groups to step in and help the lioness.
A spokesman for Maasin Zoo responded, saying that Lyka was 'healthy', explaining that the lioness was also given adequate food and water.
The spokesman added: "If there are any problems with the animals they are treated by a vet.
"They are safe and healthy and receive adequate nutrition. Most visitors enjoy their time here."
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