Lion cub’s legs broken so it could pose with tourists for photos

Animal cruelty just hit a new all time low when a lion cub’s legs were intentionally broken so it could not escape while being forced to take photos with visitors and tourists at a Russian beach near Dagestan.

According to the Daily Star, the cub, named Simba, was only a few weeks of age when he was taken from his mother and forced to pose with tourists. As the cub grew up, his torturers had to break his legs to keep him from running away. Slowly, the cub’s health deteriorated as he was “tortured and beaten.” Simba suffered severe spinal injuries leaving him close to death.

Barely able to move and in extreme pain, his owners tied him up in a filthy barn and abandoned him until he was finally rescued. The disturbing video below shows how helpless Simba was before his life-saving surgery. Slowly he learned how to walk again.

GRAPHIC VIDEO –  (viewer discretion advised)

“He was practically not fed, and for some reason in the frost, water was constantly poured over him,” stated Yulia Ageeva who led the mission to save Simba. “This was a real hell.”

In addition to having had his two back legs broken, Simba also suffered from pressure sores, intestinal blockages and wasting of his hind muscles. Rescuers flew the near death cub to animal specialist Karen Dallakyan who said the cub had suffered “an ocean of pain.”

After surgery, Simba slowly began to improve and had to learn how to use his back legs. Months later, Simba’s coat has grown in, and he has made a miraculous recovery. Although he has permanent injuries, he still seems quite content.

The horrible case of criminal animal cruelty captured the attention of Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, who was so shocked he ordered a criminal investigation. The unnamed photographer who worked with the cub last summer denied he tortured Simba and stated he had turned the cub over to new owners.

(Photos via Karen Dallakyan)

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