Lions found beaten and starving in Russian hotel
Two emaciated lions fight for their lives after being found weak and abandoned in a Russian hotel.
The owner fled overseas to avoid police, apparently leaving the wild animals to die, according to reports.
The hungry big cats – injured after being beaten with a metal rod – were bought on the black market and used to promote Kirill Babenko’s business before he went to India “several weeks ago”.
The hungry big cats – injured after being beaten with a metal rod – were bought on the black market and used to promote Kirill Babenko’s business before he traveled to India a few weeks ago.
A lion was discovered in a cramped cage and a lioness in the fleeing owner’s bedroom.
The wild animals “wailed and wailed” with hunger, according to reports in Russia.
Natalia Zinkova, a volunteer who helped free them, said: “The lion was so weak that he couldn’t make his way to the food we brought him.
“His fur is in terrible shape, he’s severely dehydrated.
“The lion was left locked in his little cage.
“We also found a lioness in a room on the second floor.
“Both animals were used by the owner of the hotel and bar to attract more visitors.”
The lion was discovered in a cramped cage and a lioness was in the fleeing owner’s bedroom. Wild animals ‘moaned and groaned’ with hunger, according to reports in Russia
Ildar Khantemirov, another volunteer, said: “They were left with old bones that they tried to gnaw on.
“The lion and lioness had scars from being punished with a metal baton.”
The big cats were around 18 months old, he said.
He had heard from local teenagers that they had found “starving” lions in abandoned premises in the Ramenskoye district in the Moscow region.
Natalia Zinkova, a volunteer who helped free them, said: “The lion was so weak that he could not move to the food we brought him” and he was severely dehydrated.
“I went to the prosecutors when local teenagers told me about the lions,” he said.
“They were secretly sneaking into the building and feeding the two animals meat pies and spam.”
He revealed, “The lions were kept in absolutely appalling conditions.
“We are now transferring them to a rehabilitation center where they can stay until the end of their life.
The lion and lioness both had scars from a metal baton and are believed to be around 18 months old. They were found in an abandoned hotel in Moscow’s Ramenskoye district
“I don’t think they will ever be able to return to the wild.”
He warned: “This is a clear consequence of a totally cruel black market in wild animals.
“I know that a three month old African lion cub can be bought for as little as 140,000 rubles (£ 1,900).
“The buyer will not receive any documents, he will just receive a carrying bag with a lion cub inside.
The lions were bought on the black market and subsequently subjected to appalling cruelty. Three-month-old African lion cub could be bought illegally for 140,000 rubles (£ 1,900)
“And there is no control over the flow of the cubs.
“Nor any monitoring of what is happening to them.
“What we have witnessed is the very sad end result of these black market purchases.
“I just hope the two young lions get through this.”
Experts say it will take them “months to recover” from their tragic ordeal.
The owner of the abandoned hotel did not respond to requests for comment.
“What we have witnessed is the very sad end result of black market purchases. I just hope the two young lions get out of it, ”said Russian volunteer Ildar Khantemirov