This is the moment Simba the lion cub – barely able to move after being abused and abandoned by a tourist photographer – takes his first tentative steps after a period of rehabilitation.
The poor cub was rescued in the city of Sochi in the south-western Russian region of Krasnodar Krai before being handed over to the ‘Spasi Menya’ (‘Save Me’) animal shelter in the city of Chelyabinsk.
After several weeks of care, the shelter shared footage of the cub taking his first tentative steps since arriving there.
According to the reports, 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 did recover and was put for sale.
The ‘Save Me’ shelter tried their best and managed to buy Simba for 60,000 RUB (650 GBP) and asked Karen Dalakyan, a local vet to help in treating the animal.
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.”
One of the shelter volunteers said: “Thanks to the treatment and ongoing care, Simba managed to stand on all four paws and even took his first steps.
“I was not expecting this to happen so soon, to be honest, but I am very happy to see it walking. Simba is not that confident with his legs, but progress is obvious.”
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Story By: Gheorghi Caraseni, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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