Starving lions beaten with metal rods found in abandoned Russian hotel used to attract tourists

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Two starving lions found in an abandoned Russian hotel continue to fight for their lives after they were discovered in two cramped cages. Both an 18-month-old lion and lioness had been purchased on the black market and were used to attract tourists to the hotel located in the Ramenskoye district of Moscow.

According to Mail Online,  Kirill Babenko, the owner of the hotel fled to India “several weeks prior” to avoid prosecution, leaving the two lions to die. The cats had been routinely beaten with metal rods and lived in cages in Babenko’s bedrooms.  Hotel guests could take photos with the cubs, and “trainers” would make the cats obey by beating them. Their coats were in terrible condition and both had scars over their bodies. When discovered, the animals were stated to be “moaning and groaning from hunger.”

Volunteers rescuing the animals described how weak the cats were – even incapable of moving towards food. Both had been left only old bones the cats tried to gnaw. Rumors circulated that local teenagers had secretly been sneaking into the hotel and feeding the cats “meat pies and spam.” When the kids went to volunteers, members of the rescue community informed local prosecutors; an investigation was immediately launched. 

Rescue worked Ildar Khantemirov warned about buying wild animals on the black market:

“This is a clear consequence of an utterly cruel black market of wild animals. I don’t think they will ever be able to get back to the wild… I know that a three month old African lion cub can be bought for as little as 140,000 roubles. ($2,400 U.S.) The buyer will not be given any documents; he or she will just receive a carrier bag with a lion cub inside.”

It is not known if the two cats will survive, but if they do, their rehabilitation will take months for them to recover. The hotel owner has not responded to any requests for comments.

(Starving lions photos via freezeshots of YouTube video and Mail Online)

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

Check out the video of the rescue: (Although you may not understand the language, the tragic message rings clear)




11 replies
  1. Nancy Raymond says:

    Someone should hunt down this piece of shit hotel owner, lock him in a cage and dump it in the nearest body of water. He deserves no better than to be treated as poorly as he treated these helpless animals – Thank God there were some kind kids who
    took the initiative to feed these abandoned animals and reported this cruelty to local rescue who were able to get them to safety. I truly hope these abused cats survive this vile cruelty and are able to fully recover.

  2. Elaine says:

    Find that fucker and hang him. Fucking ignorant bastard needs to pay hefty. Throw him in with the lions when they get stronger (hopefully). Hate that dipshit…he deserves to suffer bigtime

  3. Barkley's Mom says:

    This is despicable, those poor lions, I hope they will be alright and I hope the hotel owner is brought to justice.What is wrong with humans?

  4. Dana says:

    Unbelievable, absolutely heinous.. I hope this sociopath that lacks any empathy at all dies of a slow, incapacitated painful death. How dare he. Disgusting POS!
    I hope these youngsters cats survive the horrific torture they received from this monster!

  5. Tracy Whitcomb says:

    I hope you find that asshole and treat him EXACTLY the way he treated those poor babies!!!! Even that might be too good for him!!!!!!

  6. Debor33 says:

    Every day, more & more animal abuse…..and until the punishment starts to fit the crime this kind of thing will still go on….I pray the precious lions survive.

  7. Sandra Bell says:

    Beautiful, innocent creatures. I pray they will recover and live in peace in a proper sanctuary. The rotten perpetrator needs to learn what it feels like to endure the heinous crimes he committed against these lions. Keep him in a tiny cage, beat him regularly with metal rods and starve him until he can’t move.

  8. Cynthia Como says:

    I’m so outraged and heartbroken by this story that I’m at a loss for words! I think I have read about these lions before it came to this abandonment,unless this story isn’t recent! Such a blatant,intentional and cruel act! OMG! I could swear this is an old story! Praying these beautiful and magnificent cats fully recover and are properly treated for the rest of their lives! SICKENING!!!!


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