This lioness was among the protected animals found at a warehouse in Thailand. (Apichart Weerawong/Associated Press)

A pet shop owner was arrested after police found hundreds of protected animals, including rare lions, in his warehouse near Bangkok, Thailand, authorities said this week.

Police Colonel Ek Ekasart said police found 14 albino lions from Africa and hundreds of birds, meerkats, tortoises, peafowls, capuchin monkeys and other species from overseas and Thailand.

They said Montri Boonprom-on, 41, faces charges of possessing wildlife and animal bodies. He could face jail and a fine.

Ek said Montri owns an exotic-pet shop in Bangkok and has been found guilty of selling wildlife before.

“We have been monitoring the location for a few days after the neighbors complained about the noise from the animals,” Ek told reporters. “And if you looked through the gate, you could spot lions in the cage.”

Montri said the lions were shipped legally to Bangkok from Africa and were waiting to be moved to a zoo.

Associated Press