Simba the lion cub – barely able to move after being abused and abandoned by a tourist photographer – has celebrated his first birthday at the animal shelter that rescued him.
Simba was used by an unidentified photographer last summer who abandoned him in the autumn in the Russian resort city of Sochi.
Found mutilated and starving, the lion was passed to one of the circuses in south-western Russian Republic of Dagestan where the animal recovered and was put up for sale.
The ‘Spasi Menya’ (‘Save Me’) animal shelter, located in the city of Chelyabinsk in the south-western Russian region of Chelyabinsk Oblast, managed to buy Simba for 60,000 RUB (650 GBP) and asked Veterinarian Karen Dalakyan to treat the animal.
When Simba was first brought to the centre, Dalakyan said: “He was probably beaten as the spinal bone is very sensitive around his lower back. Pressure ulcers ate his muscle to the bone. Urine and faeces was on his fur and some areas have gone bald.”
The ‘Save Me’ centre said that Simba was treated to a huge chunk of meat on 15th June on the lion’s first birthday.
Veterinarian Yulia Agaeva told Newsflash that Simba is recovering well, but is still some way behind other lions his age.
Simba with Yulia Agaeva Lion Cub Simba
She said: “Simba has a special diet and is undergoing tailored treatment with vaccines recommended by African experts in the field.”
Agaeva told Newsflash that the lion will probably spend another two months at the centre being moved to a nature reserve.
Agaeva added: “We have already found a good place for him to see out his life. It is an excellent place where the animals are always being monitored by experts.”
When asked about the investigation into claims of animal abuse, Agaeva told Newsflash: “We have a list of people who may have abused Simba and caused the condition we found him in, but the investigation is not moving forwards for some reason and no one has been charged yet.”
Archive Story: Simba The Lion Cub Makes Friends With Cuddly Panther
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Story By: Gheorghi Caraseni, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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