A lion spotted wandering loose on the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was intentionally released by disgruntled employees, the animal’s owner said.
The lion, named Hei Man, which translates to “Dark Mind,” made headlines earlier in the summer when the animal was seized by authorities and returned to its owner, businessman Zhai Xinjiang, in early July.
The lion was spotted wandering loose Monday on the streets of Phnom Penh and multiple witnesses captured photos and videos of the animal before it was safely recaptured and returned to the owner’s home.
Zhai, a Chinese businessman living in Cambodia, said Hei Man had been released by a disgruntled former employee working with his current employees. He said the worker had been fired over fraudulent activity and released the lion as retaliation.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said when Hei Man was returned to Zhai in early July that the owner had agreed to keep the animal in a proper enclosure as a condition of the exotic pet’s return.
It was unclear whether Zhai would face any legal consequences from the lion’s Monday outing.