A lion in Ukraine is in “extremely severe” condition after being rescued from Russian shelling. UAnimals told Newsweek that the male lion was living in a small enclosure in the Sumy region of Ukraine, which borders Russia. He was here when the shelling took place, according to Oleksandr Todorchuk, Founder of Ukrainian animal welfare charity UAnimals.
In recent weeks, Russian shelling has intensified in this region, and unfortunately, when the lion was finally rescued, he could not use his back legs and was unable to walk.
“The lion was very close to the shelling. We have now transported him to our wild animal rescue center where we provide veterinary treatment,” Todorchuk told Newsweek.
“If he can be cured, we will transfer him to a rehabilitation center in Europe. The condition is extremely severe, and he has problems with the head. Next week, we will do a full diagnosis, including an MRI, then we will be able to provide a prognosis.”
They are now waiting on a full examination of the lion so that veterinarians can determine what happened to him and what they can do to help.
“It is not yet known whether the animal will be able to endure long-term anesthesia,” Todorchuk said.
This particular lion was living at a home and being kept as a pet, and it is unknown where the owner was at the time of the rescue. Unfortunately, there are many big cats being kept as pets across Ukraine and unregulated breeding of these animals was a problem before the war broke out. While animal charities were attempting to fight this before the war, all of this has now been put on hold while they focus on evacuating them.
So many innocent lives have been lost, countless volunteers are helping to rescue animals all over the country, and many people are staying behind to help feed hundreds of refugees every day.
The impact of the Russian invasion has been devastating for the environment and the global food supply and has even caused mass animal deaths like these dolphins in the Black Sea.
Activists all around the world are standing for the people of Ukraine and demanding an end to this war.
Sign this petition to stand with Ukraine and check out 10 Ways to Help People and Animals in Ukraine!
This article by Hailey Kanowsky was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 31 January 2023.
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