SAO PAULO – The lion stolen last week from an animal shelter in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo was found 500 kilometers (310 miles) away in Maringa, a town in Parana state, police said.
The 9-year-old lion, which was stolen last Thursday, was discovered at the preserve run by his former owner, Ary Marcos, who ordered the big cat taken because he considered himself responsible for the animal, police said.
The 300-kilo (660-pound) lion, known as “Rawell,” was found on Saturday at the property belonging to Marcos, who plans to present officials with documents in the next few days showing that he is the animal’s rightful owner, police said.
Marcos could face theft charges if he is unable to document ownership of the big cat, police said.
Rawell was taken early Thursday from a shelter for exotic and abandoned animals in the city of Monte Azul Paulista.
The lion was left at the shelter in 2009 by Marcos, who claimed he could not afford to feed the big cat, veterinarian Oswaldo Garcia Junior said.
Documents show that Marcos donated the lion to the shelter in 2009, police chief Carlos Arnaldo Nicodemos said.