A lion cub named Simba, which was subjected to cruel treatment in Russia, is about to embark on a new life in Africa. The young animal’s legs were intentionally broken to prevent it from running away while being used as a prop for tourist photos on beaches. Tourists paid to have their pictures taken with the cute little lion. However, the predator was “tortured and beaten” by its handlers and suffered a debilitating spinal injury.
Simba, the lion cub, is set to begin a new life in Tanzania after being rescued from a life of cruelty where its legs were broken to make it sit still for tourists to take photos.
The crippled cub could hardly move and was on the point of death when it was rescued, but thanks to the work of animal surgeon Karen Dallakyan, Simba can now walk and play again.
The barbaric treatment faced by the lion triggered a heartwarming outpouring when the beast’s story was originally highlighted around the world in June.
Groundbreaking surgery means the cub can now walk and play, as seen in a new video, but Simba will remain deformed for life. Russians behind the beast’s rescue have arranged for the cub to fly 6,500 miles from the Ural Mountains to a big cats rehabilitation center in Tanzania.
The animal surgeon who saved Simba’s life, Karen Dallakyan from Chelyabinsk, said, “The return to their spiritual homeland of wild animals of Africa rescued in Russia is taking place for the first time in our country’s history.”
Karen Dallakyan, who saved Simba’s life and her team, plans to send the lion cub to a new home.
Yulia Agaeva, who headed the operation to save Simba, said there had been 30 offers to take and care for the lion, but she was convinced Tanzania was the right place.
‘The rehabilitation center we selected employs highly trained, kind, animal-loving doctors who will take care of Simba 24/7,’ she said.
‘It is located in a beautiful area where elephants, zebras, caracals, servals, and other fauna live near Mount Kilimanjaro.’
The lion will have a large unfenced space in which to roam, although, because of its injuries, it is unlikely to be properly released into the wild.
Simba will go to Africa with a rescued leopard, said Yulia, who heads So. Travel company.
The Tanzanian embassy is assisting with the operation to take the big cats to Africa, and the trip is expected next month.
Simba was just a few weeks old when taken from his mother and made to pose for pictures with tourists.
After exploiting the lion last summer, the performing lion’s legs were broken as it got older so that the animal could not run away.
It became ill and was “tortured and beaten” by its minders, badly injuring its spine and on the point of death, according to reports.
The animal was dumped, barely able to move, tethered in a dirty, cold barn in the Russian region of Dagestan.
‘He was practically not fed, and for some reason in the frost, water was constantly poured over him,’ said Yulia.
After being exploited last summer, the performing lion’s legs were broken as it got older so that the animal could not run away.
Vladimir Putin was so shocked that he personally ordered a criminal probe into the cruelty faced by Simba.