A lion cub had both of his eyes removed after he had been smuggled 1,200 miles across Russia in a small wooden box without food or water. The cub, named Grom, was found in the luggage compartment of a city bus which was traveling from Makhachkala to Moscow.
The cub, who was just a few weeks old, is believed to have been snatched away from his mother and had been sold to a circus in Volgograd. A veterinarian examination found the cub to have cataracts. Surgery on the infant had been delayed, but veterinarians thought it had been successful, and in turn returned the cub to the circus.
It has not been established who later sent Grom on the bus ride nor have authorities found the buyer. Russian animal surgeon, Karen Dallakyan had warned Vladimir Putin about the lack of criminal prosecution against animal smugglers and had offered to take Grom, hoping that surgery could have saved the cub’s eyesight, however the cub was never sent to the famous rescuer and surgeon.
A short time later the cub’s eye disease progressed, and Grom would walk into the walls obviously distressed and confused. And as his eye disease worsened and the cub’s corneas ruptured; surgery had to be performed and Grom was left completely blind.
Everything will be done to protect Grom in the future, but how happy can a blind lion be is the question animal protectors have had to ask?
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