Lion With Skin Cancer Receives Radiation Therapy And The Sight Is Heartbreaking

Lion With Skin Cancer Receives Radiation Therapy And The Sight Is Heartbreaking

Chaos completed the first leg of his radiation therapy for his developing skin cancer in the Tshwane clinic.

No one likes visiting a hospital by choice and to know there is a 570lb lion present in the same building as oneself is pretty daunting. A lion aptly named Chaos, a 16-year-old cat, was photographed at a South African hospital and these pictures have created a sensation among the netizens. Chaos was at the Muelmed Mediclinic in Pretoria, north-east South Africa receiving radiation treatment for the cancer-ridden skin lesions he has developed on his nose reports News 24


This 16-year-old majestic creature was brought in on a Tuesday in this Tshwane-based hospital. He sedated the whole time during his treatment. To avoid any form of ruckus the facility decided to get him through the back door of the building. According to reports, Chaos has been a part of the Lory Park animal and owl sanctuary in Midrand, South Africa since he was just a few days old. 


While the treatment was expensive, Kara Heynis, Chaos' keeper was of the view that it was "absolutely worth it." She added, "He is like our child so we will do anything we need for him." The whole procedure was headed by Radiation Specialist, Henri Reynolds. He told News 24, "We're a registered zoological facility so he was accompanied at all times and had all the necessary permits."


Reynolds also mentioned the exact time when Chaos was brought in and later discharged. "We started the whole process of transporting him to the hospital at 10:30 and returned back home at 13:15." He assured of the absence of any human patients in the area when chaos was brought in. He said, "There were no other human patients around while he was treated and he came into the hospital through a back door."


Post the treatment, they have been keeping Chaos in a shaded enclosure which he shares with his female counterpart. He'll remain in the company of this female lion until the procedure is complete which may take up to a month. News 24 reports that he would have to undergo this radiation treatment four times at the same hospital. This is due to the lack of animal radiation facilities in South Africa reports Times.


When judged by studies, animals lacking hair or fur are way more susceptible to skin cancer than the others. Animal experts have been gathering reports to have a better understanding of cancer in big cats. Here are the findings of a research paper that was published in 2015. They studied this disease in 38 big cats which were held in German zoos between the years 2004 and 2013.


This group consisted of 7 lions, 3 cheetahs, 18 tigers, 2 cougars, and 8 leopards. Fifty percent of this growth had a tumor and twelve of them showed more than one neoplasm or abnormal tissue growth. According to Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary in Sainte Genevieve, Missouri a 2012 survey showed that out of 1,000 necropsied zoo mammals, 108 of them were caused due to cancer. 


Almost twelve percent of these cases accounted for mammary tumors as the most common type of among these animals. If we specifically talk about lions the wild ones have a life expectancy of 14 while the ones in captivity have an average of 22 years. This view is quite different for a few unlucky farmed lions. Recently a farm in South Africa was discovered where these majestic animals had an appalling state. These sickly, cramped lions were kept in such a state of misery before being sold off to tourists.


HSI reports that around 12,000 animals are bred on almost 200 farms every year. This is referred to as a 'snuggle scam'. Furthermore, they are sent away to petting zoos which allows tourists to come close to the animals. Some of them are sent away on safaris or  'walking with lions' tours while the holiday planners remain unaware of the petty conditions these creatures have undergone.


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